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Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi kick off flat-screen JV Japan Display

The new joint venture will deliver its displays to a host of markets, including tablets/smartphones and automotive displays.

Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi today announced that Japan Display, a company they formed with government-funded Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), has initiated operations. The companies, which announced the startup today, said that the official operation start date was Sunday.

Nikkei Business Daily was first to report on the joint venture.

The companies announced plans to form Japan Display last year. Under the terms of the merger, Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi have combined their small and medium-sized touchscreen LCD operations into the new corporation, and each own 10 percent of the firm. INCJ owns the remaining 70 percent.

Japan Display will focus its efforts on several markets, namely mobile and automotive. The company will also have a research and development division to improve its standing in the market. According to Nikkei, the company has 6,200 employees -- 1,400 less than what the firms separately employed a year ago. Those jobs were likely lost due to efficiencies created across different areas.

Just yesterday, Samsung announced that it had officially spun off its LCD operation, which it now calls Samsung Display. That new company generates about $20 billion in annual revenue.