Japan manufacturers restart some of the northeast’s quake-hit plants

TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) – Japanese manufacturers began restarting production at some of the plants that were halted following an earthquake that jolted the country’s northeast late on Wednesday.

Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd (6981.T), the top global supplier of ceramic capacitors used in smartphones and cars, said it is restarting production on Friday at two of four factories that were idled.

The other two remain out of action, a spokesperson for the Kyoto-based firm said, noting a fire that broke out at a factory which produces chip inductors caused some damage to equipment.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

The company, which also has production facilities in Malaysia, said it is shipping from its stockpile.

The limited damage caused by the magnitude 7.4 temblor has highlighted Japan’s success in building resilience against the frequent tremors that shake the archipelago.

The quake had sparked concerns of further disruptions to a pandemic-hit global supply chain for precision components vital to electronics and autos production and in which Japanese manufacturers play a leading role.

Power has mostly been restored across the northeast, which suffered Japan’s biggest earthquake 11 years ago. Areas of Tokyo lost power for nearly three hours after the latest quake, in which three people died and 183 were injured.

The blackout has, however, forced the disposal of some COVID-19 vaccines held in cool storage, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Tech conglomerate Sony Group Corp (6758.T) is in the process of gradually restarting production at three factories in the quake-hit area, a spokesperson said.

There is some damage to a facility in Shiroishi, Miyagi prefecture which produces laser diodes but the impact on production is limited, Sony said.

Renesas Electronics Corp (6723.T), which makes nearly a third of the microcontroller chips used in cars globally, said a stop on two factories and a partial stop on a third remained in place.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Shinji Kitamura, Tim Kelly, Sam Nussey and Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

source: reuters.com