Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 357, June 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


MISCELLANEOUS

Furniture and floor cleaning products giant S.C. JOHNSON & SON, INC. will start U.S. sales this fall of a disposable mop that it licensed from KAO CORP. for marketing in 130 countries. What the Japanese developer calls the Quickie Wiper in Japan uses a pad covered with throwaway treated paper-like sheets. S.C. Johnson will market the mops under the Pledge name. Sales of Quickie Wiper in Japan, where it was introduced in 1994, totaled some 17 million by the end of last year.

In another licensing deal, big toy maker TOMY CO., LTD. gave TOYMAX INC. the right to develop new product lines for American and international sale based on two of its concepts. For the girls' lifestyle category, the Plainview, New York company designed a line of electronic and activity products, marketed as the Girls Best Friends Club, using elements of Tomy's Friendship Club products. Toymax also launched the Battle Drones line of radio-controlled robotic action figures. These are updates of Tomy's classic toys.

In a seemingly strange diversification, Sapporo sightseeing bus operator KAMORI KANKO CO., LTD. established a 10-person company in Denver to provide background information, including financial data, on people that have applied for jobs with client companies. Most of AMERICAN DATABANK CORP.'s customers are likely to be Japanese-affiliated businesses operating in the United States. The cost of information about a prospective employee is just $6.00 since American Databank provides no analysis or evaluation of the data.

The city of Iizuka in Fukuoka prefecture has awarded a $50,000 annual contract to Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Information to advise it on how to develop an information technology industry. Center staff members will travel twice a year to Iizuka to lecture. They also will survey the city's academic and corporate infrastructure to help local officials devise development strategies.

JAPAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. and AMR CORP.'s American Airlines have inaugurated the transpacific code-sharing arrangement they announced in February 1998. For now, American's designator code is on JAL flights between Tokyo and Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco and between Osaka and Chicago and Lose Angeles as well as on certain flights within Japan. At the same time, JAL's designator code appears on American's flights between Tokyo and Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Jose, California and Seattle and on AA's Dallas/Fort Worth-Osaka route. It also shows up on American flights between Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. The two carriers expect to add more code-shared routes later this year.

An exchange rate of ¥122=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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