Japan senior lawmaker hits out at Toshiba shareholders, calls for monitoring of activists

TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) - A senior member of Japan’s ruling party on Thursday lashed out at activist investors of Toshiba Corp for what he said was a sole focus on short-term profits, and called for better monitoring of activists to protect economic security.

The comments from Akira Amari, a former economy minister and an influential lawmaker in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, are some of the sharpest yet from Tokyo after explosive revelations this month that Toshiba’s management colluded with the government to put pressure on foreign activist investors.

“There should be strict monitoring. We need to watch carefully so that Japan’s security is not threatened,” Amari told Reuters in an interview.

He said it was “not right” that Toshiba was reliant on activist investors who were only interested in short-term profits and did not understand the importance of the conglomerate to Japan’s “economic intelligence”. (Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by David Dolan)