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KYOCERA and KOBE STEEL will integrate their medical material businesses in 9/04. The joint venture, tentatively named JAPAN MEDICAL MATERIALS, will manufacture and market artificial joints and materials based on expertise in ceramics and titanium alloys. For the fiscal year ending 3/31/04, Kyocera and Kobe Steel posted consolidated sales of ¥ 1.14MM and ¥ 1.2MM, respectively. Currently, the Japanese market for artificial joints is valued at ~¥ 73.5 billion (~US $670MM). The new company aims to control a 20% share of this market within 3 years. Japan Medical Materials will conduct business in Japan and the rest of Asia, and will further target regions all over the world. (Kyocera Corporation, 4/28/04)