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Business deals

Toyota looks to SoftBank's Son as a catalyst for innovation

Automaker fights to remain on center stage as tech companies shine

TOKYO - - When Toyota Motor approached SoftBank Group about a potential tie-up earlier this year, Aichi Prefecture-based President Akio Toyoda offered to travel to Tokyo to meet the tech company's leader Masayoshi Son.

"Twice I thought to myself, 'Really?'" Son told reporters on Thursday reflecting on the behind-the-scenes negotiations.

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