Earthquake aftershocks delay resumption of business activities in Japan

October 28, 2004 – Powerful aftershocks that rocked Niigata Prefecture, Japan, and its vicinity after Saturday’s large earthquakes have delayed rehabilitation work at manufacturing plants, said Kyodo News International.

Yesterday, strong earthquakes with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 and 4.2 shook the region around 10:40 am and 12:05 pm.

A semiconductor plant of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. in the city of Arai in Niigata Prefecture has suspended its high-precision processing line for checks following the aftershocks.

Niigata Sanyo Electronic Co., a Sanyo Electric Co. subsidiary based in Ojiya, where the quakes claimed most lives, said it cannot predict when it will resume semiconductor manufacturing work.

The parent company said it may transfer semiconductor manufacturing from the subsidiary to plants in other regions and farm out production to other firms if Niigata Sanyo Electronic cannot restart work soon.

In other industries, Hokuetsu Paper Mills Ltd. allowed employees at its Nagaoka plant to return home Wednesday due to the tremors and postponed its scheduled resumption of operations after Thursday. Hokuetsu Metal Co. said it will resume work at its Nagaoka plant later than scheduled because checkups following the aftershocks will take time.


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