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Ownership change for TikTok Japan unit could address concerns, ruling party lawmaker says

TOKYO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A change of ownership of TikTok’s Japanese operation could be one way to address security concerns over the Chinese video-sharing app, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party said.

Norihiro Nakayama, a senior member of a group of lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party looking into Chinese apps, said the group was unlikely to seek a ban on TikTok and other apps but would push for measures to ensure protection of user data.

“We want to create an environment in which users can continue using TikTok, in which they can use it safely,” Nakayama, who is also Japan’s parliamentary vice foreign minister, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

He said an ownership change for TikTok owner ByteDance’s local operation could be one solution, without elaborating further.

The lawmakers plan to compile a set of proposals on Sept. 10, Nakayama said, adding he aims to recommend examining whether concern over the security of user data is warranted in the case of TikTok and other apps.

Nakayama stressed he was speaking from his personal view, and not the consensus of the group, which is led by party heavyweight Akira Amari, who is close to Abe.

The United States last week ordered Chinese firm ByteDance to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok within 90 days, ramping up pressure over concerns about the safety of the personal data it handles. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by David Dolan)