A new way to cut sushi rolls may soon make its way into the sushi kitchen, as Japanese-style sushi roll maker Oikawa Glass Cutter, Inc. (Oikawa) plans to open a new factory in Tokyo’s Nara Prefecture to begin mass production of the cutting equipment.
Oikawa is the world’s largest glass cutter, according to its website, and currently operates the Oikawa glass cutter plant in the eastern city of Oita, where it has a production facility.
Oishi Glass Cutter plans to build a new production plant in Tokyo to increase its capacity to 1,000 workers, and will add more manufacturing facilities in Japan and overseas, according a report by Nikkei Asian Review.
In February, Oikawa announced that it was partnering with local and foreign companies to build the new factory.
The company plans to bring on about 300 employees by the end of 2020, and plans to hire 500 people annually.
Oeda, Oishi’s parent company, recently said that it would invest $30 million to expand the production capacity of its Oikawa division, which produces glass-cutting equipment.
“We want to be able to grow our brand to a level where we can make a good return,” Oikawa CEO Yoshiyuki Nishimura said at the time.
“This is a business where we are investing a lot to become more successful.”
The new Oikawa factory will be located near the Oishi glass cutlery plant, where the company currently operates.
The new factory will make about 15,000 rolls per year, and it will be Oikawa’s third glass cutter facility in Japan.
The Oikawa facility has about 2,500 employees, Nishimura told the Nikkeis.
Oida, Oiwa’s parent, recently expanded its production capacity to 10,000 roll-making workers and about 15 production facilities in three countries, according the Nikkatsu.
Oiowa Glass Cutter is Japan’s largest supplier of cutting glass and is the largest glass-cutter company in the world.
In 2016, Oowa Glass Cutlery agreed to buy Oikawa for $5.5 billion.
Ouchi, founded in 2007, was the first company to produce cutting glass, according Nikkeisei.
The Glass Cutter has become one of the most well-known and recognizable brands in Japan, and Oikawa has been the subject of several television commercials.
Oikura Glass Cutter began producing cutting glass in 2005, but it is now focusing on glass-stamping technology and other cutting tools.
The current Oikawa plant is Oikawa and Oishi only, with a production capacity that can accommodate about 1,500 workers, according its website.
The firm is owned by Japanese billionaire Yasuhiro Oikawa.