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Health Care

Japan's trading houses find a gem in Asia's health care market

Itochu, Mitsui and others sense opportunity in a richer, older population

Japan's Mitsui & Co. became the largest shareholder in Malaysian hospital operator IHH Healthcare to gain exposure to Southeast Asia's health care market. (Photo courtesy of Parkway Pantai)

TOKYO -- Asia is growing older and richer, presenting a golden opportunity for Japanese trading houses to meet the region's expanding demand for advanced health care.

Itochu, Mitsui & Co. and Sumitomo Corp. are stepping up their health care operations in Asia as they seek steady cash flows to offset their volatile energy and resources businesses and a safe haven from the U.S.-China trade war.

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