Kato operated as Sony's mobile VP from 2013-2021, and she wrote that her new position will see her "[lead] partnership efforts to support our Japanese partners globally. Opening up a new chapter, unlocking new experiences in the game industry."
Xbox in Japan
In the past, Japan (and Asia in general) has been a notable weak spot for Xbox, and consoles have often failed to move the needle in that part of the world. Things were apparently so dire that Microsoft considered acquiring both Square Enix and Sega as a way to boost its profile in the region.
That said, Microsoft has made up for it by securing Game Pass-related partnerships with both aforementioned developers and Capcom. Remasters for several of Atlus' Persona games and a variety of Final Fantasy titles have shown up on Game Pass, and Capcom's Exoprimal from this past summer debuted on Game Pass at launch.
Bringing Kato on board to lead more partnerships in Japan may lead to similar Game Pass deals down the line. It could even possibly lead to a smaller Japanese developer being acquired as an Xbox subsidiary.