Bush’s action on lockout praised

Japanese firms on Wednesday welcomed maneuvers by U.S. President George W. Bush to resolve a 10-day labor lockout at ports on the West Coast that has delayed delivery of billions of dollars worth of cargo.

Most firms remain cautious, however, as it will take time for the work of longshoremen to return to normal.

Amid a buildup of ships waiting offshore, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. said it will take one month before operations are normalized.

Among the Japanese companies that have been affected is Toyota Motor Corp., which was forced to suspend part of its vehicle production in the United States due to a parts shortage. Toyota officials had feared that a prolonged lockout would have an adverse affect on the company’s earnings.

Nissan Motor Co. President Carlos Ghosn said Tuesday if the port shutdown ended within a few days, Nissan would not need to revise its earnings forecast a great deal.

Several thousand vehicles exported from Japan have been detained offshore due to the lockout.

Electric machinery makers had considered airlifting personal computer parts and other equipment to prevent their U.S. operations from being suspended.

“Now that President Bush moved to intervene, we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” a Sony Corp. official said. “We want things to return to normal as soon as possible as the yearend shopping season is approaching.”