Warner Music Japan president and CEO Takashi Yoshida has died aged 48, WMG has confirmed.

According to reports in the Nikkei Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun, police are treating his death as a suspected suicide. The reports state that he was discovered hanging at his home in Nerima Ward, Tokyo on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 7) and was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

Warner Music did not confirm the cause of his death.

Lachie Rutherford, president of Warner Music Asia Pacific, issued the following statement: "Words cannot express how shocked and saddened we are at the passing of our dear friend and colleague Takashi Yoshida. Our deepest sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.

"For those of us who were fortunate enough to work closely with him, the loss is profound. Takashi was one of the true visionaries of the Japanese music industry. Throughout his illustrious career he was responsible for discovering, signing, and developing some of Japan's biggest acts, and had a unique ability to forge strong and lasting partnerships with artists. Not only did he understand and inspire them, he also worked tirelessly for their success. Takashi's untimely passing is a tragedy for all who knew him and Japan's music scene is a poorer place without him. I count myself privileged to have worked alongside him and will always remember our collaboration as one of the most rewarding of my career. He will be greatly missed."

Yoshida became Warner Music Japan President in August 2003 after a long career at Sony Music Entertainment Japan. At Warner, he helped develop hit acts including Superfly, Kobukuro and Ayaka, and worked with artists already on the label, including Mariya Takeuchi and Tatsuro Yamashita.

Yoshida began his career in sales promotion with CBS Sony Music Japan in 1985. Prior to joining Warner, he was president of DefSTAR Records, an associate company of Sony Music Entertainment. At DefSTAR, he developed artists including Chemistry, Ken Hirai and the Brilliant Green.