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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:52 03/09/2007
News Review #2: February 7, 2002

Gov't does not want foreign capital in Snow Brand

Reviewed By Hitoshi URABE

"Gov't does not want foreign capital in Snow Brand"
TOKYO, Feb. 6 Kyodo - The farm ministry has told Snow Brand Milk Products Co. that it does not want the struggling firm to form a capital alliance with a foreign company as part of a restructuring program aimed at rebuilding the scandal-tainted Snow Brand group.

Scandal of Snow Brand Foods Co. was bound to have a detrimental effect to the whole group. As no one seems to be interested in Snow Brands Foods as a firm any longer, after it became evident that the company itself had given up to be a legitimate corporate entity, anxieties about the survival of the parent, Snow Brand Milk Products, has become the focus. It had been reported that the company was seeking for injection of capital from Nestle of Switzerland or Itochu, a Japanese trading house. At the news conference held later, the president of the company confirmed that they are in negotiations with a number of candidates, though not providing specific names.

The article quoted here reports the actions taken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. The bureaucrats told the company that the investor should neither be a foreign entity nor a trading house since they do not know "the way things are done." This is very interesting. The farm ministry has never believed in free trade and global economy. Their job is to protect Japanese farming from capitalism, which has been thoroughly demonstrated during the negotiations at WTO and elsewhere. To this extent, then, there is nothing to be surprised about. But this time, they have taken a step forward and expressed their will to intervene in a private commercial transaction to pursue their own interest, without apparent legal justification. Is this a communist Japan under the velvet glove of free economy? A few hours after this report, Snow Brand Milk Products announced that they would be looking only for domestic investors with experience in farming affairs.

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