• Kyodo


Manufacturers are gearing up production of face shields and masks utilizing cutting-edge technologies in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 amid growing concerns over a resurgence of novel coronavirus infections in Japan.

Sharp Corp. has started producing face shields with limited reflection and fogging on the surface, using the tech it employs to manufacture liquid crystal display panels for TV sets and smartphones.

The firm said its unique technology for putting tiny protuberances on the surface of face shields, manufactured at its factory in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, largely eliminates the reflection of light and prevents fogging from exhalation, ensuring clear visibility for a long time.

The company also employs light titanium frames made in Sabae in Fukui Prefecture — a city known for high-end spectacle frame production — for its products in a bid to reduce users’ fatigue and stress.

Sharp will start selling products on its shopping website on Nov. 30. The firm expects them to help protect health care workers and those in the service industry from virus infections.

The product costs ¥8,980, while a low-cost version using polycarbonate for its frame is already on sale and priced at ¥1,980.

Meanwhile, a team from a national medical institution, an air conditioner-maker and other companies in western Japan is developing reusable medical face masks with a plan to mass-produce them as early as January, as hospitals and clinics largely rely on imported products.

Under the project led by the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, the team plans to manufacture highly protective N95 masks with an exchangeable filter to meet possible high demand.

Air conditioner-maker Daikin Industries Ltd. is providing its advanced technology for the exchangeable filters, while medical device-maker Nipro Corp. is managing overall production and sales activities.

“A shortage of N95 masks continues in many medical institutions. We want to provide made-in-Japan medical face masks to hospitals across the country to ensure safe treatment for patients,” said Kunihiro Nishimura at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center.

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