TOKYO -- Corning will partially close a Japanese plant and relocate production of cover glass for smartphone screens to South Korea, bringing it closer to partner Samsung Display.
The U.S. manufacturer said it will shutter the east side of its factory in Kakegawa, a Shizuoka Prefecture city southwest of Tokyo, by June 2015. It will offer early retirement to at least 150 employees at the plant, which makes the Gorilla brand of damage-resistant glass.
Last October, Corning announced a partnership with Samsung Display that would give the Samsung Electronics subsidiary a roughly 7% stake. Samsung is looking to consolidate production of core components into its own country.
Corning will cut about 10% of the 1,200 full-time jobs at its three Japanese units. At least 100 temporary workers at the Shizuoka plant will not have their contracts renewed.
Production of glass substrates for LCD panels will continue at the plant and at Corning's Sakai factory outside Osaka.
Gorilla Glass has helped Corning take a substantial lead in market share over the next-biggest player, Japan's Asahi Glass.