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36JAPAN LAWYERS GUIDE 2018/19M&A Trends and Developments in JapanYuto Matsumura & Hideaki Roy UmetsuMori Hamada & MatsumotoOverviewSince December 2012, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been in the process of implementing economic policies popularly known as “Abenomics”, comprising three components (called the three arrows): massive monetary easing, expansionary scal policy, and long-term growth strategy. e Abe administration received further support for its policies by calling an election of the House of Representatives on October 22, 2017, and securing a two-thirds ‘super-majority’ in that election. Although the full results of its policies are still unclear, the initial impact was a surge in the Japanese stock market together with a signicant depreciation of the Japanese yen against other major cur-rencies: comparing the gure as of year-end 2017 and 2012, the Nikkei 225 was up 119.0% (to JPY 22,765 from JPY 10,395), and the yen was approximately 30% cheaper against the US dollar. e yen depreciation cer-tainly helped the competitiveness of Japanese companies abroad. More than six years after the massive earthquake in Northern Japan, and resulting tsunami and nuclear pow-er plant accident, the region close to the epicentre is still struggling to rebuild its economy. However, business ac-tivities in other parts of the country have returned to nor-mal, and Japanese M&A activity in the following years has been quite active. In particular, outbound M&A activity has been strong across a variety of industries, including telecommunication, healthcare, nancial ser-vices, industrials, energy and consumer products. Many Japanese companies that have no international presence or experience now list overseas strategies or expansion as one of their top priorities. We have also seen a number of domestic deals, particularly consolidations within the same industry.e March 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster pre-sented serious challenges to Japan’s energy strategy. As of the end of 2017, only one of the 50 nuclear plants in the country is operating, even though nuclear power had previously accounted for more than 30% of Japan’s ener-gy supply. In the M&A context, it is no surprise that this energy predicament has continued to lead to investment, mainly by major trading houses, into natural resources all over the world. Acve cross-border M&Ae volume of outbound M&A in 2017 was about JPY 750 billion, which was signicantly lower than that of 2016. However, the total value of outbound M&A into Asia was much higher than that of 2016. ere has been particular M&A activity by Japanese companies in North America and South-East Asia.Among Asian countries, Myanmar has been the focus of signicant attention from Japanese companies. After the US started to relax sanctions, more and more Japanese companies have indicated their interest in Myanmar. e Japanese government is also supporting the Myan-mar government by, for example, helping to establish a stock exchange in Myanmar. M&A activities by Japanese companies in Myanmar began to develop in 2013, a trend that we expect to continue over the next few years. “China plus” strategyAs a result of a are-up in a dispute between Japan and China over small islands in the East China Sea, there were quite a few anti-Japan protests across China. Busi-ness activity by Japanese companies in China decreased and many of them began diversifying their investments into other countries. As a consequence, many Japanese companies in all industrial sectors have already or are now planning to invest not just in China but also in oth-er parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia.Signicant dealsLarge Inbound M&A deals - Toshiba and TakataWhile over the past few years the largest M&A deals

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