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

No. 348, September 1998

Issue Index

Japanese Companies in the US


A Los Angeles start-up that runs centers performing surgical vision correction, or refractive surgery, has gained an instant presence in Japan by acquiring a firm in the same business. Under a contract signed in June, VISION CORRECTION CENTERS bought VISC JAPAN K.K. for an undisclosed amount and converted the Tokyo company into its subsidiary. VCC will train ophthalmologists in the surgical treatment of such problems as nearsightedness at a cost of $6,900 to $10,300. Once it has a core of skilled surgeons, VCC will start opening refractive surgery centers across the country. Within a year, it hopes to have 10 such centers in operation.

Having decided to divest some slow-growth secondary product lines, PROCTER & GAMBLE CO. sold Japanese manufacturing and marketing rights to Milton, which is used to sterilize baby bottles, to KYORIN PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. Milton is the local market leader among this type of sterilizing agent, with annual sales around $24.1 million. Tokyo- headquartered Kyorin also acquired the Milton trademark and manufacturing equipment from P&G's MAX FACTOR & CO. subsidiary in Kobe.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare cleared LUTHER MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC. to sell its neonatal intravenous catheter. The 28 NN20 HFR, developed to address the specific requirements of the Japanese market, is a 28- gauge, neonatal intravenous catheter that offers a higher flow rate and greater ability to see the product under X-ray. The Tustin, California maker expected to ship 3,000 catheters to Japan initially.

OMEGA INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, INC., the developer of the ThruVU system for detecting corrosion and erosion in insulated and bare pipelines, has signed a technology licensing and marketing contract with CXR CORP. ThruVU uses technology that the Lakemoor, Illinois company refined to detect gamma radiation and X-rays as well as mathematical computation, software algorithms and a mechanical transport (crawler) system to identify pipeline defects. CXR, which has been demonstrating ThruVU's capabilities at oil-refining complexes, is marketing the system to oil and chemical plants, power generation plants and other facilities with pipelines.

An exchange rate of ¥145=$1.00 was used in this report.

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