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Time for M&A to rationalize corporate Japan

Hardheaded post-bubble managers can make tough decisions that predecessors shirked

| Japan
Nidec's legendary founder, chairman and CEO Shigenobu Nagamori is known as an M&A maestro. (Photo by Toshiki Sasazu)

Mergers and acquisitions activity, once largely a foreign concept in Japanese boardrooms, known mainly from American business school textbooks, is finally coming of age.

Last year, Japanese takeovers of foreign companies neared 20 trillion yen ($184.1 billion at the current exchange rate), a record high. One headline-grabbing deal accounted for a third of the total flow -- Takeda Pharmaceutical's 6.8 trillion yen acquisition of Shire, the Irish biopharmaceutical company.

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