Anime News Network has reported that according to the online version of Japanese media trade paper Bunka Tsushin, Toei Animation’s managing director Hiroyuki Kinoshita died earlier this month. The 48 year-old executive succumbed to a heart attack on July 3.
Kinoshita joined the company in 2004 and held a number of important positions in Toei’s overseas operations. In addition to producing TV series for the studio, he had served as CEO of Toei Animation Enterprises in Hong Kong as well as COO of Toei Animation Europe (France) and Toei Animation Incorporated (U.S.).
On the occasion of his promotion to the latter titles in 2012, Kinoshita expressed pride in the company’s role in bringing Japanese animation to a global audience, and optimism for the future.
“Three decades ago, Japanese animation was an internationally obscure art form, popular primarily in Japan. Since then, Toei Animation has played a pivotal role in helping make anime the worldwide phenomenon it is today. Moving forward, Toei will continue its global leadership role as we build on our partnerships with the world’s most prestigious players in traditional and digital media.”