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No. 350, November 1998

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Japanese Companies in the US


Soy sauce manufacturer KIKKOMAN CORP., one of the first Japanese companies to begin production in the United States, has started shipments from its second American manufacturing facility. The $46 million Folsom, California plant initially has the capacity to make 2.6 million gallons of soy sauce a year with a work force of 25. Its output will be sold mainly on the West Coast, while the original Kikkoman factory in Walworth, Wisconsin, now in its 26th year of operation, will serve the rest of the country. Kikkoman controls about half of the North American soy sauce market.

At a cost of $5 million, SAKATA SEED CORP. — a worldwide leader in the breeding and marketing of flower and vegetable varieties for commercial growers — has acquired the right to use KAMTERTER II, L.L.C.'s patented Solid Matrix Priming process in sweet corn, vegetables, flowers and culinary herbs. Among the benefits of the SMP process is germination in about half the time it takes unprimed seed. Sakata Seed also will work with Lincoln, Nebraska-based Kamterter and MONSANTO CO., which earlier acquired the right to use the SMP process on several major agronomic crops, to improve and expand the utilization of the priming technology. To backstop its introduction of the SMP process, the company's Morgan Hill, California subsidiary will build a facility for pelleting, priming and seed enhancement as well as a seed germination laboratory.

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.

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