OSAKA (Kyodo) Sharp Corp. will invest some 500 billion yen to build a liquid crystal display panel factory in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, with one of the world’s highest production capacities, informed sources said Saturday.

The factory, expected to go onstream in 2009, will churn out 40- to 60-inch panels for large-screen televisions with production efficiency exceeding that of Sharp’s renowned liquid crystal panel factory in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture, the sources said.

By building the factory, possibly beginning this summer, the company wants to better position itself in competition for TV sales with leading plasma TV manufacturer Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and liquid crystal-making rivals in other Asian countries.

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