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Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. obtained approval Thursday from their shareholders on a plan to spin off and integrate their semiconductor operations under a joint venture to be set up April 1.

The new venture, Renesas Technology Corp., aims for a small profit in the first business year, officials at the two firms said.

At the meeting of Hitachi shareholders, President Etsuhiko Shoyama said the company finds it necessary to integrate microchip operations with Mitsubishi as the sector requires an increasingly large amount of investment.

“The importance of semiconductors remains unchanged,” Shoyama told the shareholders. “We aim to become the world’s No. 1.”

Hitachi and Mitsubishi announced in October they will spin off their system large-scale integrated circuit operations and other memory operations, except those of dynamic random access memory chips, under the joint venture.

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