• Kyodo

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Honda Motor Co. will withdraw from a nonbinding power-saving agreement involving the automobile industry and open some of its plants on Thursdays this summer to work on raising production, a company official said Saturday.

The official said the decision is “inevitable” because parts output hasn’t been able to catch up with demand since the March 11 disasters, and its plans would be affected otherwise.

Honda plans to open three plants, in Mie, Shizuoka and Kumamoto prefectures on two Thursdays in July and is thinking of doing likewise in August and September, the official said.

The three plants have a total of 300 workers, but the impact on the industry’s goal of saving electricity will be limited, the official said.

Members of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association agreed in May to close their factories on Thursdays and Fridays and open them over the weekend instead to lower demand on the power grid from July to September.

The March disasters crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant, raising the prospect of power shortages in eastern Japan this summer.

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