“One of the most important things we can do at Disney is carry on our traditions, and be true to our legacy,” said Disney Legend Jim Cora. “Toshio Kagami has continued to follow the dreams of such important and diverse leaders as Masatomo Takahashi and Frank Wells, bringing the full promise of Tokyo Disney Resort to outstanding reality.”
Toshio Kagami, Representative Director, Chairman and CEO of the Oriental Land Company, was born in 1936 in Tokyo. At the age of 22, he joined the staff of Keisei Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1909, Keisei is involved in a wide range of activities including railway and real estate development in the Tokyo metropolis and Chiba prefecture, where most of its businesses are focused. It is active in a wide range of industries.
Toshio rose through the ranks at Keisei and, in 1972, was appointed deputy director of the Real Estate Division of Oriental Land Co., Ltd. (OLC). The company was founded in 1960 for the purpose of reclaiming land in the ocean off the coast of Urayasu in Chiba prefecture for the development of commercial and residential areas as well as construction of a large-scale leisure facility to contribute to the culture, health, and welfare of the Japanese public. The main stockholders of the Oriental Land Company are Keisei Electric Railway and Mitsui Fudosan, the premier real estate concern in Japan.
In 1976, Toshio was appointed director of the Real Estate Division of OLC. In the 1960s, the OLC approached Disney to bring Disneyland to Japan; this eventually resulted in the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. Owned by the OLC, the venture licenses the various Disney brands, characters, and properties. Disney also provides their park and resort management and Imagineering expertise to the OLC, including the design and construction of the Tokyo Disney Resort complex and a second theme park, Tokyo DisneySea, which opened in 2001.
Toshio continued his career with OLC in a variety of roles, including Employee Relations, Development, Publicity, and in 1993 was named executive director. He later became executive vice president and, in 1995, was named representative director and president.
“Walt was definitely a wonderful person,” Toshio once said, “but the fact that we were able to bring the Disney Resort to Japan and make it a success in Japan, I believe that we were able to bridge these two different cultures together. The world has to be a peaceful place and I would like to see more and more of these bridges built across the world.”
“When all is said and done,” Jim Cora added, “the work that Kagami-san has done leads directly back to one simple idea—Walt was right.”