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Japan’s blue-chip manufacturers delay reopening factories

Posted by on March 22, 2011 0 Comment

Tokyo, March 22 (DPA) Several large manufacturers in export-reliant Japan have announced delays to their production schedules after this month’s magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami interrupted supply chains, news reports said Tuesday.

Electronics producer Sony Corp said five of its factories that escaped the March 11 disaster would be unable to restart before the end of the month, the public broadcaster NHK said.

The company was considering shifting some production overseas to make up some of the capacity lost as suppliers were unable to deliver to the plants in north-eastern Japan, the report said.

The affected facilities produce cameras, mobile phones, display screens and broadcasting equipment.

In the hard-hit prefectures of Tohoku and Ibaraki, seven Sony factories directly affected by the disaster remained out of commission until further notice, the report said.

Carmaker Toyota Motor Corp said it would postpone the restarting of its production, planned for Wednesday, by at least a day, also because of suppliers’ inability to provide parts on time, NHK reported.

The carmaker was shifting some of its production to models for which all the parts were available, the report said.

Fellow Japanese auto manufacturers Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co earlier announced they would resume most of their production Thursday.

The tsunami and quake, the largest ever recorded in Japan, have caused chaos for manufacturers as they seek to restore production while facing damage to their facilities and stock, damage to infrastructure, problems at their suppliers and power shortages.

Japan was likely to suffer a 0.2-percent dent in gross domestic product in the fiscal year beginning April because of the disaster, Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd said last week.

Reduced output would probably take 0.7 percent off the economy, but reconstruction activities could push it back up by 0.5 percentage points, the institute was quoted as saying by the Kyodo News agency.

Japanese stocks soared more than four percent Tuesday as some progress at Japan’s troubled nuclear plant and an overnight rally on Wall Street improved investor sentiment.

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