Canon to fully automate lens production in Japan by 2013

Canon will fully automate production of interchangeable lenses for digital single-lens cameras at its plant in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan starting next year. Canon eyes expanding the scope of unmanned manufacturing to its entire output of digital cameras in the future, with Japanese plants in Oita and Nagasaki prefectures named as possible candidates.

Canon said it will maintain employment by relocating workers at the Utsunomiya plant to other plants. The move comes as many manufacturers are being forced to shift production overseas amid the strong yen and rising costs.

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