Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took stakes of slightly more than 5% in five of Japan’s most venerable corporate names with big investments in energy.

Berkshire
BRK.B,
+0.77%

disclosed the investments in Mitsubishi Corp.
8058,
+7.71%

, Mitsui & Co.
8031,
+7.34%

, Sumitomo Corp.
8053,
+9.08%

, Itochu Corp.
8001,
+4.18%

and Marubeni Corp.
8002,
+9.48%

just before the Tokyo stock market opened Monday.

Shares in the five companies surged at least 5% and in some cases more than 10%, helping drive the overall Nikkei Stock Average
NIK,
+1.12%

up 2% in intraday trading Monday. Berkshire didn’t say how much it spent to acquire the stakes. Based on the companies’ Friday closing prices, a 5% stake in each would collectively be worth about $6 billion.

The five are often called trading companies, but investment company might be a more precise description. All have stakes in a variety of businesses including interests in energy and mining. Mitsubishi and Itochu each control a major convenience-store chain in Japan.

“I am delighted to have Berkshire Hathaway participate in the future of Japan and the five companies we have chosen for investment,” said Buffett in a statement. He said the five companies “have many joint ventures throughout the world and are likely to have more of these partnerships.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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