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The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency has commended 300 small companies in Japan that have developed unique technologies used in the world market or contributed to communities by making use of local materials.

The agency affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to publicize the companies it has selected in its booklet and on its Web site to raise people’s interest in manufacturing.

The agency began the annual selection of 300 such companies in 2006 and this year’s selection focused on particularly small companies, half of them with 20 or fewer employees.

The companies include Ito Electric Industry in Sagae, Yamagata Prefecture, whose small cameras in cellular phones have a 14 percent share of the global market, and TAKE Create Hagi in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, whose bamboo chairs were used at the Academy Awards ceremony in the United States.

By prefecture, Tokyo topped the list with 28 companies selected, followed by Osaka with 25, Aichi with 24, Hokkaido with 12, and Nagano and Kanagawa both with 11.

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