Japan Could Block Toshiba Chip Business Sale to Foreign Firm (News)


Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)—With embattled Toshiba Corp. looking for a buyer of its prized flash memory , the Japanese government plans to put any bid by a foreign company or fund under close scrutiny.

As a result of a screening under the foreign exchange and foreign trade law, the government could seek to block the sale of the strategic business to a company from China, Taiwan or South Korea due to national security concerns, analysts said.

The law restricts investments from overseas in business fields related to national safety and maintenance of order, including the airline, nuclear power and social infrastructure industries.

"If we receive advance notice (of acquisition proposals) based on the foreign exchange law, we'll conduct a strict scrutiny from the viewpoint of national security," Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Sekō Hiroshige said at a news conference on Friday.

Toshiba's semiconductor business "has high global competitiveness and is very important in light of the need to maintain jobs," Seko said, while also noting that the business "is expected to have increasing importance in term of information security."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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