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Kenji Yukimura (雪村賢二 Yukimura Kenji) is the founder and owner of Kabushiki Gaisha ABS.
Profile and history Edit
Personal life Edit
Kenji Yukimura was born in Brick, New Jersey on August 19, 1981 to Japanese-American parents and Malaysian relatives. They moved to Tooele, Utah (to the south-west of Salt Lake City, also in Utah) when he was 5, and then to Obama, Fukui, Japan when he was 8.
Kenji currently lives in Minato, Tokyo, 24 minutes away from the ABS Broadcasting Center in Shinjuku, which acts as his company's world headquarters.
History as a businessman Edit
Foundation of Kabushiki Gaisha ABS Edit
In 1999, Kenji Yukimura arranged with Rokurou Inoue to have the Aso Broadcasting System and all of its operations centralised into one company. Rokurou and ABS' affiliates agreed, and a new company under the name "Kabushiki Gaisha ABS" was officially formed, with hopes of diversifying into other market segments outside of television in the future. By assuming control of ABS Television, Kenji Yukimura became the youngest ever person to have managerial control over a Japanese television station - he was just 17 years of age when he became the company president on June 15 that year.
Later, he announced that the ABS Television Network would appoint itself as a "cultural ambassador" for Japanese popular culture, and would reflect this by bringing popular Japanese television programmes to international markets through means of a dedicated international satellite feed. This feed already existed when Kenji bought out ABS, but stated that it would be overhauled entirely along with the domestic ABS Television Network.
Partnerships with other Japanese television networks Edit
Kenji partnered with TV Asahi Corporation in 2005 to launch the Asahi Kokusai satellite channel, and again in 2013 with Nippon Television to hold a series of annual events themed around the Let's Go! Anpanman anime series. The latter event, known as the Day of Anpanman, would end up being cancelled in 2016 after noticeable decline.
Expansion into US retail and family entertainment Edit
In June 2016, Kabushiki Gaisha ABS bought out CEC Entertainment, Inc, well-known for operating the Chuck E. Cheese's chain of family fun centres. Chief executive officer Tom Leverton stood down and became part of CEC-ABS Entertainment's managerial staff, with Kenji appointed as the new CEO. Kenji stated that his new management would undertake a massive renovation and improvement project in the United States and Canada, and immediately work to expand the Chuck E. Cheese's chain and franchise into other major international markets.
Young Kenji Yukimura was recognised by his parents as very playful and friendly, yet had an interest in becoming a businessman immediately after moving from Utah to Japan. Kenji was upset by the fact that Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre (his preferred arcade and fun center) was not operating there, and he attempted to spread awareness and encourage a potential franchisee to open a location in the Japanese subcontinent, all to bear no success, giving up on the Japanese CEC idea until 2016.
During his early years at Kabushiki Gaisha ABS, Kenji Yukimura was well-known for having an extremely short temper, which according to reports was first noted in 2005. He has lashed out on numerous people (and sometimes himself) on at least 5 occasions since March that year, but despite this dangerous behaviour, he has never inflicted physical harm on any employees or members of the public. None of these incidents have hurt ABS' brand image, business or reputation.
Kenji vowed when he was young (around 6 years old) to never drink alcoholic beverages in any quantity. This promise has never been broken since. Some ABS employees, in an inversion of this, are known for having heavy drinking habits - these particular employees became the subject of mockery by Japanese netizens, and the target of a late-2015 corporate headquarter policy change banning the consumption of such drinks in the ABS Broadcasting Center during working hours.
Over the course of 2016, leading up to the takeover of CEC Entertainment, Kenji became a much more friendly, playful, appreciative and energetic person.
Kenji often informally appears in public, routinely spending his lunch break time at family restaurants such as Coco's and Gusto. Kenji refrains from bragging about his position in public, and stated to a Nippon TV interviewer that "I don't like the idea of attracting hordes of people by loudly declaring myself as the boss of Kabushiki Gaisha ABS. If they figure me out, I won't ignore them, but I won't elaborate either". On the flipside, Kenji does make planned appearances at high-profile store openings associated with KKABS' brands.