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Date : 08-05-17 17:51
Toyota, other Japanese companies suspend China operations after earthquake
 Writer : J&K
TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese companies with operations in China's Sichuan province have temporarily halted business in the region following Monday's earthquake.

Toyota has suspended production at its Sichuan joint venture until 6 a.m. Wednesday as the company assesses the condition of the plant, said spokesman Hideaki Honma.

Japan's top automaker has confirmed the safety of 1,200 of its 1,600 employees so far, he added.

The Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co. plant produces Coaster microbus and Prado SUVs with an annual production capacity of 13,000. When operating normally, the factory would have produced 80 units during the period of the closure.

Operations are also on hold at Yamaha Motor Co.'s electronics components plant in Chengdu, and Fujitstu Ltd.'s semiconductor joint venture in Chengdu will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Japanese Economy Minister Hiroko Ota warned Tuesday that the ripple effects of the earthquake, which has reportedly killed 10,000 people, could hurt the Japanese economy.

"The Chinese economy, of course, will be hit first and the effect on the Japanese economy will come after that," Ota said. "Because we don't know the extent of the damage to the Chinese economy yet, it's hard to tell how much the Japanese economy will be affected."

China overtook the U.S. last year as Japan's top trading partner, with combined trade between the two countries totaling US$236.6 billion, up 12 percent from the previous year, according to the Japan External Trade Organization.

About 170 Japanese companies have subsidiaries and branch offices in the region.

In a statement, the Japan Business Federation said it would do provide swift support for disaster relief and rehabilitation of the region.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura reiterated Japan's commitment to help, saying Japan has readied a team of rescuers and relief goods.

"We have made various preparations so that we can dispatch a team of rescuers or relief goods" as soon as Beijing makes a request," he said. "We are standing by."

(Mainichi Japan)