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Japan Inc. Finds New Business Case for Robotics During Covid-19

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The As One distribution center in Chiba, east of Tokyo.

Robotics and automation are being used increasingly in Japan to ensure business continuity.

Credit: Financial Times

Many Japanese businesses had already turned to automation in response to the country's chronic labor shortage, and heavy investment in robots helped them manage an increase in online orders during the pandemic.

Said Askul's Hideo Amanuma, "There is less chance for people to contact each other as a result of people not walking [around at work] due to automation. It was very effective for our working environment [during Covid-19]."

Yano Research Institute predicts Japan's logistics market will grow by a third to ¥17.5bn ($167 million) during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and within 10 years, to ¥150 billion ($1.45 billion).

Said Mujin's Issei Takino, "With the continuity of operations threatened by coronavirus, there are more companies willing to buy robots even if they are more costly than humans because it's now viewed in the context of [a] business continuity plan."

From Financial Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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