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Japan shipbuilders look to innovate their way out of slump

Domestic industry seeks high-tech edge against Asian rivals

Imabari Shipbuilding's headquarters shipyard in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture.

TOKYO -- Japanese shipbuilders including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and domestic leader Imabari Shipbuilding are joining forces to develop self-navigation systems and other technology that could help them escape damaging price competition with Asian rivals.

A new organization toward this end will be established as early as summer, with the Tokyo-based National Maritime Research Institute to steer the project.

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