Internet and telecoms giant Softbank Corp (9984.T: Quote, Profile, Research) will spend about 40 billion yen ($350 million) to start operations next year at a new data centre in southwestern Japan, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.

Electronics conglomerates Fujitsu Ltd and Hitachi Ltd are also investing in data centers to tap growing demand for outsourcing by Japanese corporations of management and maintenance of their information systems, the newspaper said.

Softbank plans to begin operations at a facility at the data centre in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, in October 2008. It will build two additional facilities, each with a floor space of 3,500 square meters, by early 2009, the Nikkei said.

The data centre will eventually house more than 100,000 computer servers and have an area of 140,000 square meters, making it roughly the size of three Tokyo Dome stadiums and one of Japan's largest data centers, the Nikkei said.

No one at Softbank could be reached for comment.

Japanese corporations are increasingly looking to outsource management of their data to improve productivity. The trend is being pushed along by the planned introduction in fiscal 2008 of tougher internal controls regulations that will boost the amount of data that needs to be managed, the newspaper said.

Softbank will target Internet-based companies that typically operate server networks of several thousand units as potential customers for its new data centre, the paper said.