Power and transport trouble Japanese IT makers after quake

Quake damage and power blackouts throw Japan's IT industry into chaos

Japan's major electronics companies took stock of their problems on Monday, as the country struggles to come to terms with the scale of devastation following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Several of Japan's largest electronics manufacturers suspended production at some plants on Monday.

The companies are having to deal with several problems at once. Some plants were damaged by the earthquake. Other plants are offline because of a loss of power, while others can operate but are unable to get parts because supply chains have been disrupted.

Sony said seven of its plants were not in operation on Monday. Several hundred Sony staff slept in one factory over the weekend because they faced problems getting home or because their homes were badly damaged.

NEC factories in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures are offline because of electricity and water supply problems and Hitachi has halted work at six factories. Fujitsu shut down 10 plants on Monday, while Canon has suspended work at eight and Nikon at four. Factories in the region belonging to other electronics companies and their suppliers are also offline.

Many of the companies are unable to say when production will restart.

Work is also being affected outside of the quake-hit region. Problems at several nuclear power stations have cut power generation capacity by 27 percent, and sparked fears that supply will not be able to keep up with demand.

Late on Sunday, the government asked major companies to reduce electricity consumption and some responded by instructing employees to stay at home. Other energy-saving measures include the switching off of large neon signs and giant TVs that blast advertisements over major intersections.

Planned blackouts began late Monday in two regions around the capital as part of a plan to keep the lights on in Tokyo. The blackouts affect all customers in those regions, so factories and offices are also being forced to suspend work.

There are no plans to ration power in central Tokyo.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sonyNECCanontoshibahitachinikonComponents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?