Japanese cosmetics makers boosting R&D

Major Japanese cosmetics makers are stepping up research-and-development using cutting-edge technology to come up with new products. They are bidding to boost overseas sales, amid the growing popularity of Japanese cosmetics in Asia and elsewhere.

Kose Corporation's new research institute located in Tokyo started full operation this month. The company says the institute will conduct research into skin, including how to lighten its color and figuring out the mechanisms involved in aging.

Kose officials say their researchers will also use a superfast quantum computer to determine the best combinations of ingredients.

Rival Shiseido launched a new research institute near Tokyo in April. Company executives say the institute will collaborate with universities and other firms in new fields of research, such as artificial skin to conceal wrinkles and blemishes.