Honda Sun, the automaker's subsidiary established to employ people with disabilities, has held a ceremony to mark the completion of its new plant in Hijimachi, Oita prefecture.

Honda Sun was established in September 1981 in, Beppu, also Oita prefecture, and is held 51% by Honda Motor, 24% by Japan Sun Industries and 25% by other investors.

It has 133 staff and and sales revenue of JPY1.45bn in the fiscal year to last 31 March and makes parts for motorcycles, automobiles and power products - Honda's key product lines - at its two plants in Oita (Beppu and Hiji).

Honda R&D Sun in Hijimachi was founded in July 1992  and is 60% owned by Honda R&D, 25% by Honda Motor and 15% by Japan Sun Industries.

Thirty-three staff work on CAD-based R&D of parts for motorcycles, automobiles and power products and the company's revenue last fiscal year was JPY180m.

The plant opening ceremony was attended by approximately 80 guests including Honda executives, local politicians and Toshikazu Togari, the president of the Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (JEED).

"Honda Sun established this new plant with the goal of making it a world-class plant with a universal design which will further expand employment of people with disabilities, improve the work environment and employee benefits, and improve productivity and logistical efficiency," the automaker said.

The new plant aims to create a work environment where people with disabilities can work in the same way as people without disabilities, and with improved productivity and flexibility. Special consideration was given so that each worker can work in accordance with their physical conditions.

In addition to achieving high safety standards, the opinions of various people, including those who use wheelchairs, were incorporated in the design of the plant.

Honda said it would continue expanding employment of people with disabilities.