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Wed, Oct 01, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Japan electronics makers warn of uncertainty

AFP, MAKUHARI , JAPAN

Technology group Murata Manufacturing’s robots Murata Boy, right, and Murata Girl are displayed at the CEATEC Japan 2008 exhibition in Makuhari, Japan, yesterday. On the sidelines of the fair, electronics makers warned they were bracing for uncertainty as the global financial crisis chips away at their major markets.

PHOTO: EPA

Japan’s electronics makers warned yesterday they were bracing for uncertainty as the global financial crisis chips away at their major markets in the US and Europe.

Sony Corp president Ryoji Chubachi said he was closely watching market conditions as he showcased the world’s thinnest HD liquid-crystal display (LCD) television — 9mm — at an electronics exhibition near Tokyo.

“For the moment, demand for LCDs is still strong but we don’t know when something will happen. We are carefully watching market levels week by week from China to the US,” he said on the sidelines of the event.

The Cutting-edge IT Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) opened yesterday for a week-long run bringing together 804 companies showing their goods.

Along with slowing US demand, Japanese companies are also concerned with a strengthening yen as it makes their goods more costly overseas.

“It is an urgent need to have a balanced dollar-yen, euro-yen cost strategy,” Chubachi said. “We want to be prepared for various scenarios ... and be able to take various measures without delay.”

Equity markets across the globe were battered yesterday after the US House of Representatives voted down a US$700 billion bailout plan for the financial sector.

“We would like financial authorities and governments to take whatever measures possible to solve this crisis. The US has challenged itself to solve the crisis in a short period of time. We hope that will be effective,” Chubachi said.

Rival Sharp Corp said it may lower prices as it unveiled its thinnest 22.8mm plasma TV of its Aquos line, which is expected to go on sale worldwide this month.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co spokeswoman Kyoko Ishii said the company behind Panasonic was “very concerned as half of our business depends on overseas.”

“We are watching markets very carefully as the situation may drastically change in the second half,” she said.

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