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Japan's lithium-ion battery businesses to merge in safeguarding effort: report

TOKYO -- A Japanese government-backed fund will spearhead a plan to merge the lithium-ion battery businesses of Sony and other major firms in a bid to safeguard cutting-edge technology, a report said Friday.

The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan has started work on the integration of Japanese ventures, with the consumer electronics giant at the core of its plan, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing unnamed sources.

Under the plan, the most likely merger partner for Sony Energy Devices is a joint venture established by Nissan and NEC, called Automotive Energy Supply, the paper said.

The move is aimed at safeguarding the technological edge Japanese firms have developed in the face of increasingly intense competition from South Korean firms, it said.

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