Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 352, January 1999

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American Companies in Japan


K&L MICROWAVE INC. of Salisbury, Maryland is providing technical support to SOGO ELECTRONICS INC. for the design and production of microwave and RF (radio frequency) subassemblies for sale in Japan. The specific products covered by the contract are switched filter banks and switch filter multiplexes. The Tokyo-based company expects to complete commercialization this spring. It has forecast initial-year sales of the subassemblies at between $170,900 and $256,400 but believes the business will grow strongly over time.

Safety connectors manufactured by KING SAFETY PRODUCTS of St. Charles, Missouri now are available in the western part of Japan through OSAKA TOKIWA SHOKO CO., LTD. Tokyo-based SCS JAPAN LTD., which handles distribution in the rest of the country, arranged the deal. The two companies are marketing King Safety's moisture-resistant safety connector for indoor use as well as a waterproof part and an underground type for outdoor applications. None of the products requires special tools for installation, and all the connectors can be used with virtually any size wire. Osaka Tokiwa Shoko is projecting sales of $1.3 million in the first year and $4.3 million after three years.

As many as 1,000 of WELCH ALLYN, INC.'s high-performance SCANTEAM 5700 Series handheld laser scanners could be sold in 1999, distributor AINIX CORP. predicts. Although the four models in the 5700 line are suitable for any general-purpose application given their wide range of resolution and their extended reading distance, the Tokyo company is targeting sales at manufacturers of semiconductors, hard disk drives and other products made in cleanroom environments. Skaneateles Falls, New York Welch Allyn has a 5700 scanner designed for these stringent requirements. Pricing of the line starts at $1,700.

Color no longer is a problem for people interested in buying BOSE CORP.'s five-channel home speaker system. Previously available only in black, the AM- 1011W now comes in white. The system, which consists of five very compact speakers and a bass module, costs $1,000. Stands must be purchased separately.

APPLE COMPUTER, INC. licensed its FireWire technology to MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. and subsidiary MATSUSHITA ELECTRONICS CORP. for use in the semiconductors, consumer electronics and other products they make. FireWire is the basis for the IEEE 1394 standard. It already has been adopted by MEI and other camcorder manufacturers as the standard for transferring digital video from digital camcorders to devices like PCs. FireWire also represents the coming standard for connecting PCs with high-speed peripherals, including printers, scanners and disk drives.

An exchange rate of ¥117=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaaa

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