(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, May 26 — (Kyodo) _ Panasonic Corp. said Thursday it will build an environmentally friendly "smart town" in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, in collaboration with eight other companies and the Fujisawa city office.

The 60 billion yen project on a vacant 19-hectare site of a former Panasonic plant will see the construction of 1,000 homes as well as various facilities that will be powered using solar power generation and home-use storage battery systems, the consumer electronics giant said.

The planned town, called Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, will also promote the sharing of electric vehicles.

Carbon dioxide emissions in Fujisawa SST will be 70 percent lower than 1990 levels, Panasonic said without providing details.

The project in the city located around 50 kilometers west of Tokyo will begin in fiscal 2012 with an eye toward opening the new town in fiscal 2013. All homes will be occupied by the end of 2018, creating a town with a population of around 3,000.

Announcing the project at a press conference in Tokyo, Panasonic President Fumio Otsubo said the company will "promote (the Fujisawa SST concept) around the world, especially in Asia, and make suggestions for town building in areas damaged by the (March 11) earthquake and tsunami disaster." The eight companies participating in the project include Mitsui & Co., Mitsui Fudosan Co., PanaHome Corp. and Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co.

(c) 2011 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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