• The Associated Press

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Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will resume limited production at all domestic plants from April 18 to 27 after the March 11 catastrophe forced it to halt manufacturing due to parts shortages.

Toyota, the world’s No. 1 automaker, said production at its 18 domestic plants will operate at 50 percent of normal capacity. The company will then halt production at all plants from April 28 to May 9.

Toyota spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said it remained unclear when the carmaker would return to full production in Japan.

The March 11 disasters destroyed parts factories in the Tohoku region, causing severe parts shortages for Toyota and other automakers.

Toyota suspended all car production in Japan from March 14 to 26. Since late March it has resumed limited production at a handful of plants.

The quake-tsunami disaster resulted in a production loss for Toyota of 260,000 cars from March 14 to April 8.

¥1 billion investment

KYODO

Toyota Motor Corp. and Microsoft Japan Co. will invest ¥1 billion in a Toyota unit by July under their alliance to develop software for next-generation automobiles, leaders from the two firms said Friday.

They also indicated that energy-saving software to be developed by Toyota Media Service Co. would be provided to other automakers.

“Sharing (of the software) will be important for achieving the next-generation low-carbon, energy-saving society,” Toyota Managing Director Shigeki Tomoyama told a news conference, hinting at Toyota’s readiness to consider providing the software to other automakers if so requested.

“The alliance is not exclusionary,” Microsoft Japan President Yasuyuki Higuchi said.

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