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Cisco to Open Japanese R&D Center

UPDATED: Cisco will open a new R&D center in Tokyo in February to aid in developing its high-end router and software efforts, the company announced today.

The San Jose, Calif., networking giant has earmarked at least $12 million over the next five years for the facility, which will employ 10 engineers to start.

Japan is attractive because of its high-broadband adoption rate, which is fueled by government support, and technologically advanced service providers. ISPs in the country carry loads five times higher than those in the United States, Cisco said.

"Products and technologies produced to meet Japan's demand for intelligent bandwidth will be robust enough to handle any other market in the world," Mike Volpi, Cisco's senior vice president and general manager of the routing technology group, said in a statement.

Cisco's recently introduced Carrier Routing System (CRS-1) was developed with input from Japanese service providers, and these have been among the first companies to deploy the technology platform, Cisco said.

It's the second move for Cisco this month in Japan. Earlier it announced it would collaborate with Fujitsu on high-end routers and other products for Japanese carriers and corporations moving to IP systems, the companies announced.

The alliance between Cisco and the Tokyo communications giant reflects the growing push for interoperability and underscores the growing importance of Asia for production, as well as sales of network equipment.

Cisco already employs more than 830 people in Japan, Ron Piovesan, a Cisco spokesman, told internetnews.com. It has also established more than 230 networking academies, with 5,000 students enrolled, he said.