Some manufacturing plants closed in Niigata, Japan, after quakes

October 25, 2004 – Following a series of powerful earthquakes in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, some manufacturers reported Sunday that their local operations have been suspended, although most of their facilities appear to remain unscathed, reported the Kyodo News International Inc.

Aftershocks have prevented them from conducting post-quake safety inspections of their facilities, while employees and their families have been affected by the quakes.

In Ojiya city, where the first quake, of magnitude 6.8, occurred, operations have been suspended at Sanyo Electric Co.’s key semiconductor subsidiary, Niigata Sanyo Electronic Co., because workers have been affected by the quakes and no one has yet entered the plant, a Sanyo official said.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.’s chip factory in Arai city has had no damage from the quakes. But “with the series of aftershocks continuing, we just cannot resume operations because it is a delicate production process,” said a Matsushita official.

Meanwhile, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., which has a plant in Kubiki village, and Sharp Corp., which runs an electronics factory in Shirone city, suspended operations temporarily but with safety checks done, the companies said operations are ready to resume.


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