Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK, the top government-owned broadcasting organization of Hong Kong) recently reported that Japan plans to strengthen its review and approval process of foreign investments significantly. It will do this in 12 key categories, including national defense, nuclear, air and space, public services, natural gas, network security, and telecommunications. Foreign investments that will take a one percent or more stake in Japanese companies in these categories will require a review and approval first. The criteria used to be ten percent. There are around 400 to 500 publicly listed Japanese companies fitting the criteria. The Japanese government plans to announce the official list of companies in April. In the meantime, the Japanese congress is planning to pass a new law tightening up reporting requirements on foreign investments in national security related companies. Analysts expressed the belief that Japan is concerned that China is trying to obtain critical technologies. The Japanese Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that the new law is to address certain concerns on national security, but it is also designed to welcome more investments. The new approval process is expected to take effect in May.
Source: RTHK, February 21, 2020