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JR companies defy US investor by boosting cross-shareholdings

Moves billed as building trust run counter to activist demands on governance

Bullet trains operated by JR East, JR West, JR Central and JR Kyushu. (Nikkei montage)

TOKYO -- The operators of Japan's famed bullet trains increased their mutual cross-shareholdings last fiscal year to strengthen their relationships, bucking a broad trend of unwinding such arrangements amid criticism from investors.

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