Families of Japanese workers head out of Thailand to escape flooding


Wives and children of Japanese expatriates in flood-hit Thailand were seen Wednesday at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, returning home until the situation returns to normal.

The spring tide is expected this weekend, exacerbating fears of more floods. The Japanese school in Bangkok has canceled all classes for the time being for safety reasons.

“The tap water at our home has turned brown. So we’ve decided to return to Japan temporarily to minimize the health impact (of worsening sanitation) on our son,” said Yuko Hirohara, 39, wife of a Japanese trading company employee who has lived in the Thai capital for three years.

She was taking her 2-year-old son to her husband’s family home in Chiba Prefecture, she said, adding that she hopes to come back to Bangkok in a month.

“Still, I’m worried that some epidemic may break out even after the flood is over,” she said.

Another wife of a Japanese expat said the shortage of daily necessities in Bangkok persuaded her to leave.

“Bottled water has disappeared from supermarkets, so I though it was high time I left here,” said the woman, 41, who asked not to be named. She was taking her school-age daughter to Chiba.

“With the situation like this, we can’t remain in Bangkok. Even if the school resumes, it could be shut down again,” she said. “My daughter will be enrolled in a new school in Japan.”

Honda plant shut down

Kuala Lumpur

Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., the local subsidiary of carmaker Honda Motor Co., said it will temporarily halt production at its plant in Melaka state due to a parts shortage caused by flooding in Thailand.

Honda Malaysia said Tuesday it is currently looking at the feasibility of sourcing parts from other countries until its suppliers’ production in Thailand returns to normal.