Konica Minolta Aims to Become Star in Planetarium Industry

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 24 (Jiji Press)--Konica Minolta Inc. <4902> is aiming to become a rising star in the global planetarium industry, seeking to expand exports of projectors and other goods to overseas markets.

The Japanese company hopes that its acquisition of French planetarium manufacturer RSA Cosmos SA in November last year will help double its global sales, currently at some 3 billion yen, in five years.

Konica Minolta has manufactured optical projectors and screens for about half of the roughly 360 planetariums that operate in Japan.

One such projector is used at the Konica Minolta Planetaria Tokyo, a planetarium directly operated by the company. One of the facility's currently running shows is the "Clockwork Universe," in which up to 130,000 stars twinkle in the night sky as music by the hit Japanese band Dreams Come True plays in the background.

"The theater was large, and the images and seats were clean," a woman in her 50s said after viewing a show, in her first visit to a planetarium in some 40 years. "My impression (of planetariums) has greatly changed."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press