CORNING, N.Y., May 2 -- Corning Inc. plans to invest nearly $130 million to more than double its Japanese manufacturing capacity for liquid crystal display (LCD) glass. The capital expenditure, which will be used to increase the capacity of Corning Japan KK's facility in Shizuoka, was approved by Corning's board of directors at the company's annual meeting on April 27. Corning produces precision flat glass substrates used in advanced information display applications such as flat-panel desktop computer monitors, notebook computers, Internet and communications appliances and LCD televisions. According to the company, demand for precision flat glass is growing rapidly, as evidenced by an increase in Corning's first quarter sales of LCD glass of almost 45 percent compared with the prior year. In addition, Corning's information display group reported that net income in the first quarter rose 50 percent from the last quarter of 1999, and 45 percent over the first quarter of last year.Peter Volanakis, Corning's executive vice president of information display and science products, predicts that the level of demand for LCD glass will continue to increase. We expect the glass market to triple over the next several years and we are increasing our capacity to keep pace with this growth, Volanakis declared. The doubling of capacity in Japan is just one of several planned expansions Corning will undertake this year to satisfy the exploding demand for precision flat glass.