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Nissan Motor Co. will take over as main sponsor of the popular TV anime “Sazae-san,” sources said.

In November, struggling electronics and machinery maker Toshiba Corp. announced plans to quit as main sponsor of the Fuji Television Network Inc. show at the end of March. The broadcaster has since been searching for new sponsors.

After Toshiba’s departure, about 10 companies are expected to sponsor the Sunday evening program, including newcomers Amazon Japan G.K., baby goods retailer Nishimatsuya Chain Co. and home builder Daiwa House Industry Co.

“Sazae-san” is the world’s longest-running animated television series, according to Guinness World Records. Toshiba has been its main sponsor since it first aired in 1969.

Toshiba’s viability has been threatened since it incurred huge losses from U.S. nuclear plant subsidiary Westinghouse. In desperate need of money to cancel out its negative net worth, it decided to halt the sponsorship as advertising slots for general consumers became less attractive following the sale of its home appliance business to a Chinese firm.

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