Japan eyes screening technology investments as small as 1%
Nikkei -- Sep 18
The Japanese government is considering tighter restrictions on foreign investment in industries it sees as key to national security, such as nuclear power and chipmaking.

At present, overseas investors must seek approval from regulators when seeking to buy stakes of 10% or more in Japanese companies that operate in strategic sectors. The proposed change would lower the screening requirement to purchases of stakes of 1% or more.

Authorities are also weighing a rule that foreign investors' board nominations at shareholders meetings will be subject to government review.

The plan seeks to bring Japanese regulations into line with those of the U.S. and Europe, which have tightened their own rules on foreign investment to prevent advanced technologies and confidential information from falling into the wrong hands, especially in China.

Japan's Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act requires foreign investors to apply for government screening if they plan to acquire 10% or more in listed companies that run businesses with national security implications.

Industries subject to this requirement include arms-making, aviation, aerospace, power, gas, telecommunications, broadcasting, railways and mobile phone manufacturing.

In 2008, Tokyo invoked the law to halt a U.K.-based fund's attempt to raise its stake in Electric Power Development, which operates a nuclear power business.

The government plans to submit a bill to amend the act lowering the minimum stake that triggers screening to the extraordinary Diet session in October. It aims to introduce the amended act by the end of 2020. This would be the first major change to Japan's foreign investment rules since 1980, when the restrictions were loosened.

News source: Nikkei
Oct 16
As a fuller picture of the damage from Typhoon Hagibis emerges, Japan faces weeks of delays in restoring some train service, but supply chains weathered the storm relatively well, attesting to the rise of disaster planning. (Nikkei)
Oct 14
Digging for buried treasure has never been so fun, it isn’t often said that all you need is the push of a button and riches could fill your pockets. (newsonjapan.com)
Oct 12
A Toyota Motor group finance unit will issue Japan's first zero-rate corporate bond Oct. 25 as subzero yields spill over from government bonds to private-sector debt, which carries the risk of default. (Nikkei)
Oct 11
Japanese retailer Seven and i Holdings announced on Thursday a major restructuring plan. (NHK)
Oct 11
Japanese investors celebrated Akira Yoshino's Nobel Prize win by purchasing stocks associated with the lithium-ion battery the researcher helped develop. (Nikkei)
Oct 09
Nissan Motor has appointed senior vice president Makoto Uchida to be its next president and chief executive officer. His predecessor, Hiroto Saikawa, resigned in September over his overcompensation. (NHK)
Oct 09
Masayoshi Son’s startups have had a rough few months, from a botched initial public offering by WeWork to a sharp decline in shares of Uber Technologies Inc. (Japan Times)
Oct 09
The Chairman of Kansai Electric Power Company, Makoto Yagi, is said to be considering stepping down in connection with a money scandal. (NHK)
Oct 08
Hardly a day goes by without news of SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son. The global technology investor is convinced that the future belongs to artificial intelligence, but he is also dissatisfied with his performance today and what he sees as a lack of drive in the Japanese business world. (Nikkei)
Oct 08
Japan's corporate culture traditionally demands long hours, commitment to the company, and frequent drinking sessions. Peer-pressure is still there, but a younger generation of workers is beginning to abstain. (dw.com)