Canadian Manufacturing

Pair of deadly earthquakes in Japan force production stoppage at Toyota, others

Disruption to transport, logistical networks expected to send ripples through Japanese economy



MINAMIASO, Japan—U.S. airlifts have begun delivering water, bread, ready-to-eat food and other emergency supplies to areas of southern Japan as local rescuers comb through debris looking for 10 people still reported missing following two powerful quakes.

Authorities say at least 42 people are dead and nearly 1,100 injured in the two quakes that struck near Kumamoto city on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu late Thursday and early Sunday.

As rescuers search debris for survivors and approximately 180,000 people seek shelter, the region’s manufacturing sector, which houses technology hubs and other manufacturing plants, is facing disruptions to transport and logistics.

Toyota Motor Corp. said it would shut down most of its vehicle production in Japan over the course of this week because of parts shortages stemming from the earthquakes. Nissan Motor Co. also halted production at some facilities.

Toyota’s shutdown began April 18 at a factory in Kyushu and was to progress to other plants in Japan through Friday. The company said resumption of operations would depend on the availability of parts.

Other companies, including Sony, have announced stoppages of some of their factories in Kyushu.

Associated Press writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report

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