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Microsoft names Japanese Xbox chief

Microsoft on Thursday announced the appointment of a new general manager to run the division responsible for Japanese sales of its Xbox video-game console. Yoshihiro Maruyama, formerly chief operating officer at venerable game software publisher Squaresoft, will run the Xbox division at Microsoft Japan starting Oct. 1, according to the company. He will report to former Sega executive Peter Moore, who left the struggling game maker to oversee Japanese and European sales and marketing for Microsoft's Home and Entertainment Division.

Xbox sales in Japan have been miniscule since Microsoft introduced the console there early last year. Analysts have blamed factors ranging from technical issues to inappropriate game selection for regional tastes.