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

No. 344, May 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


Expanding its line of made-in-Japan products, the Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture subsidiary of big connector maker AMP INC. has added production of internally developed connectors for CompactFlash Association-compliant memory cards and Smart Cards used in a variety of electronic devices. The company plans to turn out annually 1 million CompactFlash card connectors and twice as many Smart Card connectors.

In a plan to leverage their complementary expertise in uninterruptible power supply systems, EXIDE ELECTRONICS GROUP, INC. and SANKEN ELECTRIC CO., LTD. tentatively have agreed to codevelop UPS products for desktop computers for worldwide sale. They also will collaborate on parts purchases. Raleigh, North Carolina-based Exide is strong in large-capacity UPS systems, while Sanken Electric, the leading Japanese UPS maker, has an extensive lineup of smaller products. Two other aspects of their pending tie-up involve OEM sales by Sanken Electric of Exide-built UPS systems and the supply of Sanken Electric-manufac-tured semiconductors to its American partner. UPS systems are used primarily to prevent the shutdown of computer networks in the event of a power failure.

GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. has reappointed NIHON GENERAL APPLIANCE CO., LTD. as the exclusive distributor of its refrigerators, washing machines, dryers and other appliances. The Tokyo company had this job from 1984 until the spring of 1991 when GE formed a since-restructured company with TOSHIBA CORP. to import and sell large appliances. Nihon General Appliance is forecasting sales of $7.6 million in the year through April 1999.

The first television sets incorporating the G-Guide interactive program guide from GEMSTAR INTERNATIONAL GROUP LTD. are available in Japan. HITACHI, LTD. is the originator, although it now is incorporating G-Guide in only one of its models. Other consumer electronics makers have expressed interest, however, and Hitachi plans to expand the models with G-Guide capability. Content for supporting G-Guide is supplied by TOKYO NEWS CO., LTD., the local publisher of TV Guide. In the Tokyo area, TOKYO BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC. transmits the information. Pasadena, California-based Gemstar is the developer of VCR Plus+.

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

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