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One in five Japanese stocks hit record highs in 2017

Investors drawn to labor-saving tech, price hikes, acquisitions

An Omron robot powered by artificial intelligence makes deliveries within a factory in Shiga Prefecture.

TOKYO -- About a fifth of the stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section have reached all-time highs this year, with many of the gains accruing to domestically oriented companies and those looking to buy their way to growth through acquisitions.

Omron advanced about 1% Friday to an all-time high, bringing its gains for the year to 38%. Investors hope that the factory-automation-focused manufacturer will benefit from the severe shortage of workers spurring investment in labor-saving innovations. Daifuku, a manufacturer of automated transport systems, has seen its share price more than double this year.

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