Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 344, May 1998

Issue Index

Japanese Companies in the US


The prime contractor for Japan's new support fighter, MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD., has awarded top subcontractor LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP. a contract to build components for an additional eight F-2 aircraft. Work continues at the company's Fort Worth, Texas complex on the aft fuselages and other components for the first 11 F-2s, which are based on the F-16 (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 338, November 1997, p. 8).

A second plant soon will start making thermal transfer ribbons for fax machines and bar code printers at DAI NIPPON PRINTING CO., LTD.'s Concord, North Carolina factory. The additional capacity cost $6.5 million. DAINIPPON IMS (AMERICA) CORP., which started production in mid-1995, had sales of $50 million in the year through March 1998. With the new facility, that figure is expected to double by FY 2001.

After 10 years, the MUNEKATA CO., LTD. plant in Dalton, Georgia is being closed. The factory made television and computer housings and other plastic injected molded parts for the electronics industry. The shutdown was attributed to the fact that many of the plant's largely Japanese- affiliated customers had shifted North American manufacturing to Mexico, where the Osaka prefecture-based company already has a production unit. Munekata's U.S. sales operation was relocated to San Diego, California.

The Curel line of skin moisturizing products and the Soft Sense brand of hand and body lotion now are owned by ANDREW JERGENS CO. The wholly owned KAO CORP. subsidiary paid BAUSCH & LOMB INC. $135 million for its skin-care business. The acquisition positions Cincinnati, Ohio- headquartered Jergens as the second-largest maker of hand and body lotion in the United States. Kao bought the manufacturer of moisturizing, cleansing and facial-care products in 1988.

Blaine, Washington-based EDIROL CORP., which is majority-owned by digital synthesizer maker ROLAND CORP., has bought the largest distributor of music software in North America. The purchase of San Francisco's THINKWARE will give Edirol a network of specialty dealers to expand sales of Roland Desk Top Media Production systems, which are bundles designed to upgrade the sound performance of computers as well as standard MIDI music files for interactive playback. Through a catalog and a Web site, Edirol markets music hardware, software and music file arrangements.

An exchange rate of ¥132=$1.00 was used in this report.

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