Since 2000, Sharp has heavily invested in LCD panel manufacturing plants: Kameyama in 2004, Sakai in 2009. The Sakai plant is still the only 10th generation LCD manufacturing plant on the globe and best fit for production of 60 inch or larger panels. However, the 2008 financial crisis and strong Yen (especially against Won) significantly lowered world demand for Japanese LCD panels. Furthermore, the switch to digital TV broadcasting was virtually completed in Japan by the middle of 2011. Via Japanese government issued coupons for digital TV sets, consumers were encouraged to purchase digital TV sets until March 2011. This hit the Japanese LCD TV market, reducing it almost by half from 2010. All of those events strongly hit Sharp’s LCD business. As the result, the Sakai LCD plant suffered a reduced operating rate until Q3 2012.