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NEC Closing LCD Plant

Electronics giant NEC Corp. said Wednesday that it was closing a liquid crystal display plant and cutting 590 workers by voluntary retirement to cut costs.

TOKYO (AP) -- Electronics giant NEC Corp. said Wednesday that it was closing a liquid crystal display plant and cutting 590 workers by voluntary retirement to cut costs.

The job losses are part of the Japanese company's plan to shed 20,000 workers worldwide to stanch mounting losses and survive the deepening economic downturn.

NEC LCD Technologies, a NEC subsidiary, said it was responding to plunging demand for LCD products caused by the global slowdown. The strong yen also made cost cuts necessary, it said.

The subsidiary's Kagoshima plant in southwestern Japan will close at the end of December 2009, and production will be moved to the Akita plant, northern Japan. Staffing will be reduced from 1,190 to about 600 by the end of March 2010, mainly through a voluntary retirement program, it said in a release.

"Our worldwide business strategy remains unchanged, and with the current restructuring we expect to further strengthen our competitive position in the market," said Toshihiko Ueno, president of NEC LCD Technologies.

Development plans, such as 3D and electronic paper technologies, will continue, it said.

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