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Seven years ago, Tomoyuki "Tom" Satoh's idea for a service that would abstract Japanese technical journals for American manufacturers was branched as a brainchild before its time.
Today, however, with a $2.2-million investment from partner Fuji Xerox Corp, Satoh has 30 "subscribers" who pay to page through volumes that summarize articles written for Japanese technical and scientific journals on topics that range from cellulose chemistry to semiconductors.
Japan has long monitored American publications and, through his service, Scan C2C, the loquacious, 35-year-old Satoh hopes to capitalize on similar curiosity from stateside.
"The idea came from American industry," Satoh said. "Japan is viewed as a competitive threat to American companies. When a group of companies -- mostly manufacturers -- got together to discuss their greatest concerns, one was Japan."
For between $100 and $200 a month each, Scan subscribers receive publications that either list or summarize articles published in …