Japan Display aims to bring some panel production back from China after coronavirus

By Makiko Yamazaki and Noriyuki Hirata

Japan Display Inc aims to bring some automotive panel production back to Japan after the novel coronavirus outbreak disrupted its supply chain in China, a company executive says.

Under the plan, Japan Display would boost production at its plant in Tottori, western Japan, to supply panels to major Japanese automakers, Kazutaka Nagaoka, chief manufacturing officer, said in an interview.

"We could have spared opportunity losses if we had our production in Japan," Nagaoka said, referring to production disruptions at its Chinese plant due to a coronavirus lockdown this year.

Nagaoka declined to give a time frame or an amount for the investment in the production shift, but said the company hoped to make a final decision on the plan as quickly as possible.

The world's largest automotive screen maker produces panel cells in Japan and ships most them to its Chinese plant, where backlights, connectors and other parts are added - a labor-intensive process that requires constant manual work.

Nagaoka said advancements in machinery had helped automate the back-end processes, reducing labour costs even if they are done in Japan.

Its automaker clients also want their panels produced at automated lines for quality control reasons, he said.

Japan Display, which earns about 60% of its revenue from Apple, is aiming to beef up its automotive display business to reduce its dependence on the saturated smartphone market.

The company has agreed a deal to receive up to 110.8 billion yen ($1 billion) from Japanese investment manager Ichigo Asset Management, a critical bailout for the company that has long been dependent on publicly funded rescues.

© homson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Time to get the hell out of China. Corona is just one of the many issues which could disrupt manufacturing there. If geopolitical issues continue to heat up, the flow of components and manufactured good to/from China will be the next target.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Now is the right time to start to isolate brutal Chinese CCP regime. If we don't do it now we will regret later and there will be no way back.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am very happy that they have decided to move production back to Japan. I hope more companies will follow. A number of viruses originated in China. The world has not recovered from Corona and already there is a new variant of the Swine flu discovered there. And that is not all, in recent history China has proven more than once that it will blackmail international businesses for political gain. So get out of China as fast as you can!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pretty sure that the Chinese own most of JDI. Do not believe everything you read in this case.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At what price???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Tara tan Kitaoka - right question, wrong time... Companies should have asked that question, and assessed the risk of putting all their eggs in one basket before shipping local production offshore.... now, many have been left with Egg on their faces.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Pretty sure that the Chinese own most of JDI."

Well, apparently yer wrong.

Not according to the Company's Corporate page, last updated on 13/07/20.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Supported by Apple.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ozellisJuly 13  07:38 pm JST

Pretty sure that the Chinese own most of JDI. Do not believe everything you read in this case.

Just because Australia and Canada stupidly sold out to the Chinese in the 2010's, doesn't mean everyone else did. Japan at least has some resemblance of a backbone.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ichigo Trust own most of JDI. Do you even know who they are?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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