Japan Display to become first domestic producer of OLED panels

Japan Display Inc. plans to mass-produced panels that use organic light-emitting diodes, the first such initiative by a Japanese company, it was learned Wednesday.

The company will start producing the panels at its plant in Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, as early as 2019, through Tokyo-based affiliate JOLED Inc., sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Aiming to raise ¥100 billion needed for related capital spending, mainly from domestic businesses, Japan Display plans to sound out a few dozen companies, including Sony Corp. and Canon Inc., about investment. It has approached some of them, according to the sources.

With next-generation display technology, OLED panels can display light and dark more clearly than liquid crystal display panels and can be made thinner. They are increasingly adopted in smartphones and television sets, and are expected to be used more widely in the future.

Japanese companies have lagged behind overseas competitors, such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and the LG group.

Thanks to JOLED technology, OLED panels to be mass-produced can be priced some 20 percent lower than those from South Korean companies, according to Japan Display.

Japan Display plans to suspend operations of the Nomi plant, which currently makes LCD panels, at the end of this year. It hopes to reopen the plant as a production foothold for OLED panels after securing needed funds and installing manufacturing equipment.

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