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Panasonic exits vending machines as market shrinks

Japan's No. 3 player failed to improve profitability amid growing competition

Vending machines are a ubiquitous sight in Japan, but their numbers are falling as the country's population shrinks. (Photo by Hisashi Iwato)

OSAKA -- Panasonic will stop making and selling vending machines within the year as fierce competition in Japan's contracting market limits future growth.

The company ranks third among domestic producers, behind Fuji Electric and Sanden Holdings. Resources will be focused instead on areas where it is more competitive to improve profitability.

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