A report from Tokyo on Friday (17 December) says Japan has virtually completed plans to announce a revaluation of the yen -- in case the "Group of Ten" meeting in Washington agrees on a multilateral currency realignment.
GV Factory estate and toy factory (2 shots)
CU Toy factory sign
GV INTERIOR.. women making toy locomotives
CU Part-assembled engine
CU Women assembling (3 shots)
CU Man removes batteries after checking
CU Finished toy locomotives moving
SV Toys being packed
CU Pile of toy car chassis
GV Cars being assembled
CU Pile of miniature bowlers PAN to women assembling
CU Completed toy along conveyor belt
SV Women packing toys PAN to stacks of cartons awaiting shipment
GV & CU Soccer games being assembled
GTV INTERIOR..Cycle factory
SV Frames on conveyor
SV Bicycles being assembled (3 shots)
GV & CU Completed cycles (3 shots)
SV Bicycle being packed
CU & SV addresses on cartons
Initials ES. 1459 ES. 1521
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Background: A report from Tokyo on Friday (17 December) says Japan has virtually completed plans to announce a revaluation of the yen -- in case the "Group of Ten" meeting in Washington agrees on a multilateral currency realignment.
Two major industries in Japan which could be adversely affected by revaluation are the toy makers, and the cycle manufacturers.
Both depend heavily on exports -- and have suffered already because of the American ten per cent import surcharge, and the prolonged dock strike on the west coast of the United States.
SYNOPSIS: Omochanomachi in Japan -- a town which depends on its toy-makers for survival. All the residents have a stake in the toy business, and they believe they live in the world's only true "toy town".
Yet - with Christmas approaching, and the boom in sales that Christmas always brings -- there's a sense of unease in these factories. They fear a revaluation of the yen -- and the fears rose further on Friday with the news that Japan has virtually completed plans to announce a revaluation -- pending the outcome of the "Group of Ten" meeting in Washington.
More than sixty per cent of toys exported from this town go to the United States -- and those exports have already been hit hard by both the American import surcharge, and the prolonged dock strike on the West Coast of the United States.
It's already estimated that sales to the United States this year will be down fifteen per cent -- as other toy manufacturers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Spain and some South American countries cut into the market with low-cost toys. Should revaluation come -- and many toy makers are now resigned to it -- an uphill task is faced if they're to hold on to traditional markets.
Another Japanese industry likely to feel the pinch of yen revaluation is the cycle industry. In the first part of the year, overseas cycle sales enjoyed a boom. Then came President Nixon's move to boost the American economy. In a matter of weeks the flood of orders trickled away.
Pollution-conscious Americans are turning increasingly to the bicycle - a source of healthy exercise as well as pollution-free transport. And the Japanese cycle manufacturers hoped to cash in on the rapidly increasing sales. The prospect of revaluation presents a stern test. For the industry if it's to keep its share of the rich American market.