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TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp said on Tuesday it would supply lithium ion batteries for Toyota Motor Corp's Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle, whose Japan launch was announced the same day.

The announcement marks the first time for Panasonic to supply its lithium-ion batteries for a mass production plug-in-hybrid vehicle.

Panasonic bought out subsidiary Sanyo, a big player in rechargeable batteries, in a bid to shift focus from consumer electronics to energy and environmental technology.

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