Canon has issued a statement in response to press reports that it is to slash 700 jobs at a Japanese factory that makes equipment used to manufacture semiconductors.

The cutbacks relate to a plant producing steppers – machines used to etch circuitry onto semiconductor wafers and LCD panels.

Canon released a statement to Amateur Photographer that reads: ‘In response to recent market developments in the semiconductor industry, as a result of the global recession, Canon will restructure its semiconductor equipment operations to enable the company to promptly respond to market and customer demands.’

It added: ‘Canon will also re-size the organisational scale of its semi-conductor equipment operations and has appointed Canon executive vice president Toshiaki Ikoma to the post of chief executive of optical product operations.’