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Sanyo Electric Co. announced Wednesday that it will enter a new business field by establishing a joint venture firm to run nursing homes in light of the rapidly growing elderly population.Sanyo will set up Sanyo Emeritus Corp. jointly with Seattle-based Emeritus Corp. in February. The new firm will be capitalized at 50 million yen. Emeritus already operates similar businesses in the U.S. and Sanyo will learn from the company’s experience, Sanyo officials said.Details such as locations and the services the planned nursing facilities will offer have not yet been decided, according to Yasuaki Takano, president of Sanyo Electric. He said various fees will be set depending on the level of service provided, and the company hopes the joint venture will become profitable within four years.Takano added that Sanyo also plans to strengthen its environment-related business, another sector where rapid growth is envisioned in the 21st century. The electrical appliances maker aims to increase sales of environment-related products, such as solar energy related products, to 125 billion yen on a consolidated basis — or 5 percent of its total sales — from the current 45 billion yen by 2000.

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