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No. 354, March 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


MISCELLANEOUS

The Wilsonville, Oregon plant of polishing materials manufacturer FUJIMI INC. is sampling slurries used in the chemical mechanical planarization semiconductor process. Volume production will begin once it lines up customers. The decade-old operation also makes polishing materials for aluminum memory disks and silicon wafers as well as lapping materials for glass used in cathode ray tubes.

The movie business is a tough way to make money, as VICTOR CO. OF JAPAN, LTD. has been reminded repeatedly since it formed LARGO ENTERTAINMENT INC. in 1989 to produce movies. JVC got out of that part of the business in April 1994 when Largo switched to acquiring foreign marketing rights to pictures produced by studios and independents. Now, JVC has pulled the plug on this operation. In the future, a downsized Largo will just administer rights to the 30 or so pictures already in its library. However, Los Angeles-based JVC ENTERTAINMENT INC., Largo's immediate parent, will continue to work on the development, production and acquisition of rights to films for the Japanese market.

By the end of June, software engineering company MEITEC CORP. will liquidate its money-losing Santa Clara, California employment agency subsidiary. The Nagoya firm bought the temporary help business that formed the core of its first offshore operation in 1989. The California company specializes in placing engineers. Ironically, this announcement came just days after GENERAL ENGINEERING CO., LTD. said that it planned to open offices in the Boston area and in Silicon Valley by this fall to launch a technical staffing business as soon as April 2000. The Tokyo company hopes to recruit new or recent college graduates with degrees in science and engineering for assignment to computer, automotive and other firms that have had trouble hiring enough information technology employees.

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

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