Japan's Mitsubishi, U.S. partner to invest $1.8 billion in data centres: media

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) plans to set up a joint venture with U.S. data centre operator Digital Realty Trust (DLR.N) and build around 10 data centres in Japan by 2022 for 200 billion yen ($ 1.8 billion), the Nikkei said on Saturday.

The logo of Mitsubishi Corp is pictured at its head office in Tokyo, Japan August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon – RC1E7B85B0E0

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi expects the centres to help meet growing demand for information storage from customers of California-based Digital Realty and generate sales of around 20 billion yen to 30 billion yen in 2022, the business daily reported, without citing sources.

The two companies could invest an additional 300 billion yen in the medium term, the Nikkei reported.

Mitsubishi could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Tom Hogue

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Toshiba investigated by Japan's securities watchdog: source

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s securities watchdog is investigating Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) accounting practices for the last business year to see if it properly handled the losses incurred by its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission is examining the process involved in creating the financial report for the 2016/17 business year, said the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media and declined to be identified.

A Toshiba spokesman declined to comment.

Reporting by Takahiko Wada; Writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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Japan's Murata aims for profitable battery biz in 2-3 years: CEO

CHIBA (Reuters) – Japanese electronics components firm Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd aims to turn around its money-losing battery business within two to three years as its safety technology draws strong interest from smartphone vendors, its chief executive said.

“We are seeing brisk demand for our smartphone batteries due to their safety performance, particularly since a series of incidents last year involving overheating batteries,” Tsuneo Murata said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

The firm’s battery business, most of which it acquired from Sony Corp for 17.5 billion yen ($ 154.8 million) last month, uses gel electrolytes for smartphone batteries, which are less prone to fire than commonly used liquid-type batteries.

Murata plans to boost battery revenue to 200 billion yen in the year through March 2021, up around 30 percent from current levels, with capital investment of 50 billion yen over the next two to three years.

Half of battery revenue currently comes from smartphone batteries, and the proportion will not change in the coming years, the CEO said.

He said sales expansion will come through focusing on battery efficiency, with the aim of raising the sales volume of each product rather than broadening Murata’s product line-up.

He also sees no need to rush into the automotive battery business, which he said is already highly competitive. “It won’t be too late to make decisions after a clear trend emerges in the green-car market,” Murata said.

The CEO also maintained the firm’s 2019 goal of commercializing all-solid-state batteries, a new type of battery that significantly increases safety.

The battery will be initially mounted on wearable devices, where safety is the top priority, Murata said, adding that more work needs to be done to increase energy density before launch.

Toyota Motor Corp is working on an electric car powered by an all-solid-state battery that significantly increases driving range and reduces charging time. Murata said his firm’s battery is different to that of Toyota.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Yoshiyasu Shida; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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