HITACHI TO USE US-MADE CHIPS

HITACHI TO USE US-MADE CHIPS

Hitachi Ltd., a major Japanese electric machinery maker, said Thursday it will use semiconductors produced by two major U.S. chip makers in new home appliances.

At the same time, Minister of International Trade and Industry Hajime Tamura said Japan will continue to ask the United States to rescind unreasonable sanctions in connection with the semiconductor trade dispute between the two countries at every possible opportunity, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.The 92-nation GATT is the international body that governs trade throughout much of the world.

There is no reason why the U.S. should maintain sanctions in view of Japan's faithful implementation of the bilateral agreement, Mr. Tamura said. He described as groundless the $300 million in penalty tariffs imposed by President Reagan last April for Japan's alleged violation of a 1986 semiconductor trade pact.

This clearly runs counter to GATT rules, and we will continue to ask the U.S. to withdraw the current measure, Mr. Tamura told a meeting Thursday of the Budget Committee of the Upper Chamber of Parliament.

The United States charged that despite the agreement, Japan still was selling computer chips at unfairly low prices in third-country markets, and was not giving U.S. manufacturers greater access to the Japanese electronics market.

A Hitachi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hitachi will buy semiconductors worth a total of 250 million yen ($1.96 million) from Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments Japan Ltd. in the company's new fiscal year, which begins April 1.

The semiconductors will be used in making new video tape recorders and air- conditioners for home use, the official said. The new products will be

marketed this summer, he added.

The official said Hitachi's move could be seen as a trial case in deciding whether to increase the use of U.S.-made chips in Japanese home appliances in the future.

The U.S.-Japan microchip accord cited by Mr. Tamura, signed in September 1986, called on Japan to stop dumping Japanese-made semiconductor chips in U.S. and third-country markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and to give foreign chip makers wider access to the Japanese market.

President Reagan later lifted $135 million worth of sanctions, which imposed 100 percent punitive tariffs on personal computers, power hand tools and color television sets.

However, sanctions amounting to $165 million remain in force.