Japan Eyes Strict Control on Foreign Investment in Medical Sector

Politics

Tokyo, April 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to strictly limit foreign investment in makers of medical goods and drugs amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, informed sources said Wednesday.

The government fears that if foreign capitals, particularly Chinese, buy up Japanese manufacturers of ventilators and other advanced medical apparatuses, it will become difficult to sufficiently check domestic production and exports of such products, whose stable supply is indispensable to national security.

To protect Japanese products from increasing international "enclosure" moves targeting medical and pharmaceutical supplies, the government will add as early as July the medical sector to the list of industries with great security significance under the revised foreign exchange and foreign trade control law, set to go into force in May.

The amended law, enacted last November, requires companies in industries deemed important for security to report in advance investment deals with foreigners and have the deals examined by authorities, if planned foreign stakes reach one pct. Before the law amendment, they did not have to report below-10 pct acquisition deals.

Foreign investments in companies in 12 particularly important sectors, including nuclear energy and cybersecurity, have to go through especially rigorous advance checks.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press