In a story noted on our forums and originally reported in Nikkei Canon is planning to bring the production line for cameras and printers back to Japan as early as fiscal yeaqr 2004. They intend to spend some 100 billion Yen ($834 million) over the next three years to fully automate camera and printer production lines. The report goes on to explain that this is likely that the automated production lines would only be used for small film cameras and ink-jet printers.

Canon to bring some product lines back to Japan Reuters

Tokyo, February 9: In a rare move, Canon Inc is planning to bring the production line for low-end products such as cameras and printers back to Japan from overseas as early as the 2004 fiscal year, Japanese media said on Sunday.

Company sources were quoted as saying that Canon is also planning to spend some 100 billion yen ($834 million) over the next three years to fully automate its camera and printer production lines as part of this move, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) reported.

The move is aimed at raising competitiveness through fully automated production lines, enabling Canon to maintain and expand its domestic production, the paper added.

The new system would initially be adopted for production of printer ink-jet cartridges and then for small film cameras and home-use ink-jet printers, the sources were quoted as saying.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment.

Canon is one of Japan's most profitable companies outside the auto sector thanks to its strength in the high-margin office machine market and the surge in demand for digital cameras, which account for a growing portion of its revenues.

At the end of January it reported a 14 percent rise in 2002 profit thanks to brisk sales of digital cameras, and said it expected a further increase in 2003.