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Minoru Arakawa, President of Nintendo of America for the past 22 years, today announced his retirement effective immediately. After many months of consideration, Arakawa felt the timing was appropriate to turn the office over to new leadership.

"The U.S. video game industry is extremely strong and NOA's position within the industry has never been better," said Arakawa. "The recent impressive marketplace successes of both Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo GameCube coupled with NOA's unparalleled financial and management resources allow me the opportunity to pursue new endeavors."

“Minoru Arakawa's significant contributions to the success of NOA and the development of the U.S. video game industry are unequaled and widely acclaimed. Many of Arakawa's initiatives have become industry standards, largely responsible for the unprecedented strength of interactive entertainment today.” - Howard Lincoln, NOA Board Member

Minoru Arakawa grew up in Kyoto, Japan. His family had been in the textile business for generations and his father had helped grow the company into one of the largest in Japan. Minoru attended Kyoto University in the 1960s and majored in civil engineering. After graduating, Minoru was accepted to a graduate program at MIT and moved to Cambridge, MA where he roomed with Harvard student, Howard Lincoln. Arakawa would later return to Japan to work for real estate developer Marubeni. There he would also find his wife Yoko Yamauchi, Hiroshi Yamauchi's daughter. Arakawa was assigned to head up the development of a Marubeni condominium complex in Vancouver. Work in Canada went very well for Minoru. 

A few years later Arakawa's family visited Yoko's family in Japan where Hiroshi, impressed by his son-in-law's great successes, asked Minoru to join Nintendo. He wished to expand Nintendo beyond Japan and offered Arakawa a position as president of an independent subsidiary in North America. After much consideration, Arakawa accepted Yamauchi's offer and in 1979 moved his family from Vancouver to Manhattan where he would set up Nintendo of America's first office.

In the early day's of Nintendo of America, Arakawa's primary task was to break Nintendo into America's coin-operated arcade business. He oversaw the introduction of "Space Fever" and the disastrous "Radarscope" operation. Enduring tough times at NOA, Arakawa decided it would be best to move the subsidiary's headquarters closer to Nintendo and thought Seattle to be the best location. 

In need of a new game, Arakawa was supplied a unique title from young Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto. "Donkey Kong" would turn things around for Nintendo of America, proving tremendously successful and forever changing the video game arena. Arakawa moved the company's headquarters to a large campus in Redmond and brought on Peter Main, Howard Lincoln, and other great NOA minds. The rest is history. Arakawa oversaw the introduction of Game & Watch, Game Boy, and every Nintendo home console to date. He also saw the company through many intense business rivalries and serious legal battles over the years.

Minoru Arakawa was always one of Nintendo's greatest assets. The editors of GameCubicle would like to wish Arakawa best of luck in his retirement and congratulate him on many years well served.

In a separate announcement made in Kyoto, Japan, Nintendo announced Mr. Arakawa would be succeeded by Mr. Tatsumi Kimishima. 
Mr. Kimishima has been with NCL for the past two years serving most recently as Chief Financial Officer of The Pokemon Company and President of Pokemon U.S.A., Inc. A native of Japan, Mr. Kimishima spent over 25 years with the Sanwa Bank in several management roles including nearly seven years in New York and California. Mr. Kimishima will assume his new responsibilities effective immediately.

January 8, 2002

Rick - Editor in Chief, GameCubicle is an independent site and is in no way associated with Nintendo Co. Ltd. or NOA
Nintendo's official GameCube site can be found at

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