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OSAKA (Kyodo) The devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit northeastern and eastern Japan has also affected a majority of small and medium-size firms in other regions of Japan, such as by interrupting supply of materials and components, regional chambers of commerce and industry said Monday.

Emergency surveys conducted from mid- to late March by regional chambers found that the disaster has directly or indirectly affected 78.7 percent of small and medium-size companies in Nagoya, 75.6 percent in Osaka, 75.0 percent in Hyogo, 72.0 percent in Kyoto, 61.1 percent in Takamatsu and 58.8 percent in Sapporo.

In the Osaka survey, 54.2 percent of such firms noted that damage to their suppliers and electricity shortages in areas afflicted by the disaster have affected supply of components or raw materials.

The Nagoya survey indicated that it was difficult for 58.2 percent of survey respondents to get materials or components due to distribution problems.

The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier said a business confidence index for small and medium-size companies in March posted the sharpest month-on-month deterioration in three years and two months due to the disaster.

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