Mobile telco Vodafone looks set to snap up BT's 20 percent stake in the mobile arm of Japan Telecom, J-Phone.

The move marks BT's desperate attempts to rid itself of its £30m debt mountain, but it also marks the end of the British firm's influence in the Japanese market.

Debt-ridden BT confirmed its talks with Vodafone included the sale of both J-Phone and its 17.8 percent stake in Spain's Airtel Moviles to the mobile giant.

"We are expecting a deal to be reached this week," said a BT spokesperson.

Vodafone is steadily increasing its dominance over the Japanese markets, having already acquired 10 percent of Japan Telecom from AT&T Corp last week. On 12 April Vodafone announced the successful purchase of 15 percent of the Japanese carrier from West Japan Railway.

A purchase of BT's interests would bring Vodafone's stake in Japan from 25 to 45 percent.

"We have not yet reached an agreement with BT," said a Vodafone spokesperson. "But we do see Japan as an important sector for the telecoms industry."