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A little more than 20 years ago, Solid State Measurements Inc. was a typical high-technology startup with an entrepreneurial vision that extended only to the American coastlines.
But that was before it was approached by Japan's largest trading corporation. And before its owners began talking to "anybody and everybody" about selling its wares in the Pacific Rim.
Today, this $5 million airport-area producer of electrical characterization measurement equipment for the semi-conductor industry runs its own Japanese subsidiary in a geographical market that has turned into the company's largest customer.
"At first, we had a lot of concern about Japan -- should we be dealing with it?" says Cecile Mazur, vice president and …