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March 1, 2020, 11:36 p.m. EST

Japan electronics maker Sharp to make face masks at display factory

Sharp says it hopes to contribute to society by making the masks

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By Associated Press

TOKYO — Electronics maker Sharp Corp. said Monday it will start making surgical masks, which are in high demand because of the virus outbreak, using a plant in central Japan that usually makes displays.

Sharp /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 +0.26%  , owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 +0.56%  , also known as FoxConn, of Taiwan, said mask production at its Mie Prefecture plant will start by the end of this month, at 150,000 masks a day, rising to 500,000 a day.

Electronics displays are generally made in what are called “germ-free” plants for the sake of high quality. So small particles can’t get into the manufacturing process, making it a good place for mask-making.

Masks are hard to find on store shelves in many places. In Japan, long lines form outside some drug stores, even before they open.

Japanese have long worn face masks to prevent spreading colds or alleviate allergies. That practice has grown more widespread since the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19.

Shoppers have been clearing store shelves of other supplies seemingly directly unrelated to viruses, such as toilet paper and rice.

Sharp, based in Osaka, Japan, said in a statement it hoped to contribute to society by making the masks.

Their prices, sales channels and other details are still undecided, it said.

/zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,170.00
+3.00 +0.26%
Volume: 2.78M
May 27, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
37.69
Dividend Yield
1.54%
Market Cap
¥712.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.23M
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/zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed
TW : Taiwan
NT$ 54.30
+0.30 +0.56%
Volume: 2.06M
May 27, 2020 1:30p
P/E Ratio
11.28
Dividend Yield
4.60%
Market Cap
NT$76.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
NT$888.52M
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