Japan to toughen regulation of foreign investments in medical firms


The government said Monday that it will toughen regulations on foreign investment in domestic makers of drugs for infectious diseases and advanced medical equipment including ventilators.

The move is aimed at preventing domestic medical manufacturers from being acquired by Chinese or other foreign entities, and ensuring stable domestic supplies of medical products — with the fight against COVID-19 expected to be prolonged.

Medical makers would be added to the list of national security-linked firms under the revised foreign exchange and trade law, the government announced, with the change to be effective from July 15.

The revised law, put into force on June 7, requires advance notice to be made to the government regarding acquisition by foreigners of an equity stake of one percent or more in any of the domestic companies on the list.

A total of 558 companies in 12 fields — including weapons, aircraft, space, nuclear energy, communications and railways — are currently on the list.

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