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The J. League finalized the appointment of vice chairman Kenji Onitake as its chairman on Thursday, taking over from Masaru Suzuki who left the post at the expiration of his term.

The J. League approved the promotion of Onitake, 66, at a general assembly meeting and a board of directors meeting. A former manager of Osaka-based club Yanmar, the forerunner of first-division club Cerezo Osaka, Onitake became vice chairman of the J. League in June 2004 after serving as president and chairman of Cerezo.

The J. League also approved the appointment of Motoaki Inukai, 64, former president of fellow first-division club Urawa Reds, as vice chairman and the promotion of director Kazuki Sasaki, 54, to the post of managing director.

Saburo Kawabuchi, currently president of the Japan Football Association, took charge as the J. League’s first chairman in November 1991 in the lead-up to the league’s inauguration in May 1993. Suzuki, a 70-year-old former president of Kashima Antlers, took over in July 2002.

Grampus ink striker

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Nagoya Grampus Eight have acquired the services of striker Frode Johnsen from Norwegian side Rosenborg, the J. League first-division club said Thursday.

Johnsen has played in 31 matches for Norway and scored 10 goals. Nagoya, languishing in 15th place in the 18-team table, expects the 32-year-old to help bolster their attack.

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