Toyota has won approval from shareholders for a new share issue in Japan that has been resisted by some overseas investors.

Toyota said that 75% of shareholders voted for the plan that would see it sell up to 50m of the new shares, which must be held for five years and will not be publicly traded.

Reports say the new shares will be largely restricted Japanese investors and priced at a 20% premium on Toyota's common shares.

Dividends paid on the new shares would rise from 0.5% to 2.5% by the end of the five-year holding period when investors could convert them to common shares or Toyota would repurchase them, Toyota said.

Reports in Japan say that the company will buy back as much as 600 billion yen in stock to guard against dilution from the new share issue.

Some shareholders have opposed the new share issue because of fears that issuing stock that cannot be sold for five years is a recipe for long-term shareholders with less ability to influence the company's management.

Toyota said it hopes to bring in more long-term shareholders to support lengthy development projects. Nikkei reported that Toyota President Akio Toyoda contended that the new shares will offer stockholders more options and emphasised the company's hopes that they will become a destination for individuals' financial assets, much of them now parked in deposits.

Nikkei also said that at the shareholders' meeting, questions were asked concerning the business partnership with Mazda Motor announced last month. They were also told that the company is "not thinking about buying a stake at this time."

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