Nikon: the end of made in Japan

A few days before the end of year celebrations, we learned that the Japanese firm Nikon was going to relocate its production of cameras to Thailand to minimize costs.

The relocation of production chains to Southeast Asia is not a new thing. However, some manufacturers, including Nikon, continue to produce high-end products in their country of origin.

This is now history for Nikon, which announced the relocation of its camera production plant from Sendai (located in northern Japan). Opened in 1971, this plant produces the Z6 and Z7 hybrids and the professional D6 SLR.

According to an article in Japanese media AERAdot, published on December 19, Nikon is about to end the manufacture of its cameras on Japanese soil. In fact, production of the Z6 and Z7 hybrids would have ceased at the end of September 2020. Production of the professional Nikon D6 SLR is expected to be transferred to Thailand by the end of 2021.

The Sendai plant measures over 27,000 square meters and has been in continuous operation since it opened in 1971. In 2018, it had more than 350 employees who assemble camera body components.

Usine de Tochigi © Nikon
Tochigi’s factory © Nikon

Nikon’s “Made in Japan” production is not however completely finished, there is still a Nikon factory in Japan, in Tochigi, it will continue to produce the most high-end optics.

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Nicolas Beaumont is a photojournalist, director and writer specializing in social and humanitarian photography. Among our clients are the French Red Cross, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex, Actusoins. We make films, photographs and articles around the world on current topics: migration, war, displaced, natural disaster, flood etc...

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