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China's robot needs boost Japan's industrial machinery sector

Other global suppliers also eager to fill void caused by Chinese labor shortage

Kawasaki Heavy Industries' robot plant in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture is buzzing.

TOKYO -- Business is booming for industrial robot manufacturers in Japan, thanks in part to China's changing demographics.

Chinese companies are increasingly opting for automation to offset a serious labor shortage. Among members of the Japan Robot Association -- an industry group -- total China-bound exports of industrial robots surged 48.3% on the year in the January-March period, to 45.7 billion yen ($407.1 million).

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