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                      News Release

                      April 21, 1998

                      Hitachi Releases First Modular Type Sample Preprocessing System

                      - Modular configuration reduces space requirements by average of 40% -

                      Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT) today announced the release of the industry's first modular type system for preprocessing of blood and urine samples prior to analysis. By dividing preprocessing functions such as centrifuging and aliquotting into seven standardized modules, system configuration can be optimized to the requirements of the specific medical facility concerned. This new system will go on sale in May 6, 1998. Since the modules combine to form completely self-contained systems, no conveying lines are required, so a system reduces 40% the Hitachi's existing systems.

                      With the rapid progress of medical technology, systems for analyzing blood and urine samples for medical diagnostic purposes have become an essential item of clinical laboratories in hospitals and commercial laboratories. At the same time, such medical facilities are facing the need to hold down costs, one factor being efforts to control the nation's health care expenditures. As a result, running cost, streamlining of procedures, improved cost performance and downsizing have become issues of major importance. This has generated a strong demand for medical examination procedures that can be done quickly and can also quickly provide the reports of the examinations. It is also necessary to ensure that personnel engaged in the preprocessing of samples are protected from the risk of infection.

                      In response to these needs, Hitachi decided to focus on the development of a system based on a modular concept in which there is a standard module for each analytical or examination function, enabling modules to be combined to form systems optimized to fit the needs of the customer facility.

                      In April 1997, Hitachi launched the 7600 Series, an clinical chemistry analyzer capable of automatically measuring the concentration of specific components in body fluids. The 7600 was the first such analyzer to be based on a modular concept, being comprised of two types of analysis modules that could be combined to optimize the system configuration.

                      The new sample preprocessing system is based on the same modular concept, being comprised of seven standardized modules, each corresponding to a specific process that has to be implemented prior to sample analysis. This modular approach makes it possible to configure systems designed for the needs of each facility, with respect to sample processing capabilities, efficiency, economy, and installation space.

                      The system consists of a core unit that is used as a common base, and it contains the sample loader and stocker. The standardized module consists of a centrifuge module, destopper module, online aliquot module, offline aliquot module, barcode labeling module for aliquotted sample, restopper module to protect sample from distillation, sample sorting module and sample stocker module to enlarge stock capacity. There are ten types of system package, providing a processing capability of from 250 to 400 samples an hour. Each package is designed to ensure smooth integration and startup of processing operations.

                      The modular nature of the system eliminates the need for conveyor lines for transporting samples between processes. As a result, the system requires 40% less space than previous systems. The sample analysis and report procedure can be further speeded up by combining the new sample preprocessing system with the 7600 Series system.

                      Pricing of standard system
                      SystemSystem ConfigurationStandard Price
                      Sample preprocessing
                      system (Type C) for
                      medium-sized hospitals
                      Core unit (sample loader and stocker)
                      Destopper module
                      Online aliquot module
                      Offline aliquot module
                      From 99.7 million yen


                      WRITTEN BY Secretary's Office
                      All Rights Reserved, Copyright (C) 1998, Hitachi, Ltd.

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