Kazu Koike has been named president/COO of Universal Music Japan, effective Jan. 1, 2007. For the past two years Koike has been managing director of the Tokyo-based company's Sigma label (previously D

Kazu Koike has been named president/COO of Universal Music Japan, effective Jan. 1, 2007. For the past two years Koike has been managing director of the Tokyo-based company's Sigma label (previously Def Jam Japan) as well as overseeing international repertoire.

Koike's appointment follows the recent promotion of Keiichi Ishizaka from the position of president/CEO to the new position of chairman/CEO. Koike, who will report to Ishizaka, will be responsible for domestic labels Nayuta Wave, Universal Sigma and Far Eastern Tribe, as well as overseeing the international, classics and jazz, and strategic marketing divisions.

"Kazu Koike is the best of a new generation of music industry talent, with broad experience in both international and domestic repertoire," said Ishizaka in a statement. "His thinking is bold and fresh, and I am confident he will steer Universal Music Japan to even greater success in future."