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Yesterday: Officials break open the sake to celebrate Hitachi Metals

The official dedication for the $40 million Hitachi Metals North Carolina Ltd. plant in China Grove was held Nov. 22, 1991. In this Salisbury Post file photograph above, N.C. Gov. Jim Martin, middle right, wields a mallet with other officials as they break open a ceremonial cask of sake. Second from left is then China Grove Mayor Jim Morton. Hitachi President Koji Matsuno is between Morton and Martin, and Hitachi Metals’ first plant manager, Karl Hiramoto, stands at far right. The company started with roughly 100 employees — jobs for which there were 3,000 applications. The original plant size was 218,200 square feet on a 90-acre site. Hitachi produces ceramic magnets, mostly for use in the automotive industry.

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