Some Japanese manufacturers are resuming operations in China after suspensions caused by the new coronavirus outbreak, while others are putting off restarts due to concerns about supply chain conditions or the lack of available workers.
Japanese firms in China halted plants starting around Jan. 24 for the Lunar New Year holiday period. Restarts were set for early February, but the spread of the deadly virus forced many plants to close for an extended period.
On Monday, Suzuki Motor Corp. restarted operations at its motorcycle plant in Jinan in Shandong province. Honda Motor Co. began preparations to resume its automobile plant in Guangzhou in Guangdong Province.
Sony Corp., which produces video cameras and other products in China, restarted operations at four plants, while NEC Corp. and Sharp Corp. also resumed plant operations.
Four Toyota Motor Corp. plants remain idled until at least Sunday, although the automaker had initially planned to restart production there earlier this month. On Monday, Toyota workers inspected the condition of equipment at plants for restarts.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will keep its automobile plant in Changsha in Hunan province shut until at least Sunday, citing a delay in parts procurement.
Suzuki put off the restart of its motorcycle plant in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province, as workers who had returned to their hometowns in other provinces could not come back.
Mazda Motor Corp. kept its plant in Jiangsu’s Nanjing closed until Tuesday.
In Hubei province, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, Nissan Motor Co. aims to start operations but the resumption date remains unclear.
Isuzu Motors Ltd., which procures some parts from Hubei’s Wuhan, has arranged alternative sources.
In the retail sector, Fast Retailing Co., the owner of the Uniqlo apparel brand, reopened about 20 stores in China, but about 350 outlets remain shut in the country.
Aeon Co. has shuttered three shopping malls in Wuhan since late January. “It remains to be seen when they will reopen,” an Aeon official said.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.