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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Japanese Industries Must Tackle Y2K in Embedded Equipment
  • February 26, 1999 (TOKYO) — The extent of the Y2K date problem in microcomputer-embedded equipment varies by industry in Japan, a Ministry of International Trade and Industry survey said.
    MITI surveyed 3,110 makers in 25 industries that produce and sell microcomputer-embedded equipment. MITI sent a survey form to them through industrial associations on Dec. 1, 1998, and had 1,134 responses (36.5 percent).

    As to how much the makers grasp the problem in their own products, most of them answered, “know how the problem is with all of our products,” or “know how it is with nearly three fourths or more of our products.”

    But the percentage of the problematic products differs sharply by industry. The consumer electronic appliance industry, represented by home electrical appliances including washers and kitchen ranges and toys, said it has no products that need to implement Y2K measures. For example, an automatic rice cooker has a timer function, but has no dating feature using a calendar that may be susceptible to the Y2K problem.

    In contrast, more than 60 percent of the office equipment makers admitted that they have products needing Y2K measures. Such makers belong to the industries of computers, computer peripherals, computer software, wireless communications equipment, office machines, plant engineering, environmental equipment, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, measuring instruments and analyzers.

    The survey found that there are some manufacturers that have not notified users of the status of their products being not fully Y2K compliant.

    The situation being such, MITI has issued a notice to 112 industrial organizations requesting them to confirm the presence or absence of the problem with all the products they handle, and if any have Y2K problems, establish the necessary countermeasures and provide the users with the information without delay.

    MITI’s survey is at the Web in Japanese only.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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