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Toho Co. said Monday that its equity stake in Fuji Television Network Inc. has risen to 7.19 percent since buying an additional 1.4 percent of outstanding shares in the TV network.

Toho, one of Japan’s major movie production and distribution companies, has become the third-largest shareholder in Fuji TV with the acquisition.

The announcement comes at a time when Fuji TV is stepping up measures to protect itself from a hostile takeover by Internet portal operator Livedoor Co.

Livedoor already has a majority stake in Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. Both Fuji TV and NBS are core members of the Fujisankei media conglomerate.

In an effort to parry any possible moves by Livedoor to gain control, Fuji TV had been calling on firms with which it has close ties to buy more of its shares.

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