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TOKYO – Seichiro Ujiie, the media heavyweight and anime producer, who was president of Nippon Television (NTV) when the broadcaster dominated in the 1990s, passed away on Monday, aged 84.
A producer on many of Studio Ghibli’s big anime hits, including 1997’s Princess Mononuke, as well as the Detective Conan anime films, Ujiie also produced the first two live-action adaptations of Always: Sunset on Third Street.
Ujiie took over as president of NTV in 1992, and by 1994 it was dominating ratings in all key timeslots – a position it was not to relinquish for 10 years.
He became chairman and CEO of NTV in 2001, and remained a representative director and executive chairman of the net until the end. Having joined the Yomiuri Shimbun – a group company and the world’s largest newspaper – in 1951, Ujiie went on to hold senior positions in many of the paper’s key departments.
An extremely well-connected operator, Ujiie held positions in numerous public bodies, including chairperson of the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters,.and wielded considerable political clout.
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