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Vendors temporarily halt production facilities in Japan

Vendors temporarily halt production facilities in Japan

Nation reels from its worst earthquake in recorded history

Some vendors have temporarily suspended production due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday.

The effect on companies and the national Japanese economy is yet to be fully realised.

A series of planned electricity blackouts will begin rolling through regions in most of eastern Japan, which are intended to manage a dramatic fall in power generation capacity.

The blackouts will affect outlying areas of Tokyo and regions surrounding the capital, but will not hit central Tokyo. Each will last three hours and they will begin in stages from 6:20am and run until 10pm every day.

Sony operates several plants in the region and has yet to release information on when it might restart production.

Several companies have announced plans to temporarily suspend production at some domestic factories. They include Toshiba, Panasonic and Sharp. The factories are either impacted by the earthquake or unable to get components because of disruptions to their supply chain.

Toshiba makes microprocessors and image sensors in the region and its factory has been without power most of the weekend, said Keisuke Ohmori, a spokesman for the Tokyo-based company.

"We don't know when we can resume production," Ohmori said.

According to Canon Australia managing director, Kenji Kobayashi, the vendor is continuing to work through ascertaining damages and determining when operations can resume.

In regards to Canon offices, plants and its group of companies in Japan, there have been reports from several sites of power outages, damage to buildings and stoppages in production equipment. At its Utsunomiya office in northern Honshu, there have been 15 injuries confirmed, but none of these were life-threatening.

“While the earthquake had a slight impact on Canon offices, plants and Group companies in the western half of Honshu, there have been no injuries and no significant damage to buildings or equipment,” Kobayashi said.

In the event that production operations may be suspended for a month or more, the vendor will consider making use of alternate sites that were not damaged by the earthquake as a means of continuing production.

A more detailed damage report can be found here.

Print vendor, Oki, has stated its operation will not be 100 per cent back to normal, but the office will be open. However, the scheduled electricity cut off in Tokyo would affect staff not being able to commute into the office.

“There is no report of casualty injury or damage on Oki Japan employees and their families. There are few employees who we cannot contact probably due to cellular phone restriction to give higher priority to emergency calls,” Oki said.

Print vendor, Brother, said its offices and employees in Nagoya, Japan, were fine and its operations won't be affected.

Kyocera Mita Australia managing director, David Finn, said there was no expected impact to supply and that their factories were located south of Osaka, Japan.

"I was on the phone with some friends as it hit and they said 'the building is dancing,'" Finn said. "Despite this, we've had no reported loss of life or injury as yet."

A local Nintendo spokesperson said there was no expected disruption to Nintendo's major 3DS console launch on March 31. Tweets over the weekend confirmed that Nintendo's offices and buildings suffered little damage.

Rescue teams from around the world, including Australia, are pouring into Japan and charities have begun raising money for those affected.

Sony and Panasonic each said they would donate ¥300 million (US$3.7 million) to relief efforts. Sony said it would also provide 30,000 radios to those affected.

Canon is also making a donation of 300 million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society and other humanitarian aid organisations, and will provide supplies as needed.

Martyn Williams also contributed to this report

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Tags sonyCanonNintendotoshibaPanasonicokiKyocera MitaJapan earthquake

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