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Japan's Snow Brand Food Tries to Regain Public Confidence - 2002-02-08


Japan's scandal-tainted Snow Brand Food tries to regain public confidence and the nation's top mobile phone carrier will offer mobile internet access in Europe.

Japan's troubled Snow Brand Food company says it will cut senior management's salaries by as much as 50-percent next month. Wage cuts for other employees are also expected to be announced. The firm's sales have plunged because of a scandal in which it falsely labeled foreign meat as domestic to obtain government subsidies.

Parent company Snow Brand Milk also said this week that it was in talks with outside investors who could provide it with badly-needed cash.

The president of the Snow Brand Food, Kohei Nishi, told a news conference that the company was ready for a capital injection. He said he admits that the firm and its management are in a state of crisis.

The announcement caused a furor among Japanese dairy farmers, who fear that a foreign firm could take over and close down money-losing operations.

Japan's top cell phone company is expanding to one of Europe's largest markets. NTT DoCoMo said it will launch its popular cell phone service in Germany next month in cooperation with a local firm. It will offer a product called I-mode, which allows users to surf the Internet and send email from their cell phones. DoCoMo plans to expand to other European markets in April.

Domestic shipment of personal computers in Japan dropped for the first time in three years in 2001. A Japanese trade group says that PC shipments fell two percent to about 11 million units. The group blames the recession along with the fact that many Japanese already own computers.

Next week, Tokyo will release revised gross domestic product figures for the July to September quarter as well as corporate bankruptcy data for the month of January.

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