A powerful earthquake that struck on Saturday night has affected operations of retailers, including supermarkets and convenience stores, and factories in the northeastern Tohoku region and in Kanto in the east.
The quake measured upper 6, the second-highest level on Japan’s seismic intensity scale, in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, both in Tohoku.
Aeon Co. halted operations all day Sunday at five supermarkets, including one in the city of Soma in Fukushima, and four shopping centers, including Aeon Mall Natori in the city of Natori in Miyagi, due to damage to the ceilings or piping. Aeon’s supermarket in the Fukushima town of Namie opened later than usual.
Ito-Yokado Co., a supermarket unit of Seven & I Holdings Co., shut an outlet in the city of Koriyama, Fukushima, for the day because its building and facilities sustained damage.
About 300 Seven-Eleven Japan Co. convenience stores, mainly in Tohoku, were hit by power outages, and some of them saw damage, such as products falling off the shelves. All of the affected stores restarted operations by 5 p.m. Sunday, said officials of Seven-Eleven Japan, another Seven & I unit.
FamilyMart Co., a subsidiary of major trader Itochu Corp., closed some 60 convenience stores, including outlets in Fukushima, due to power outages or other reasons. But they gradually restarted business, with no major problems found in product distribution.
Convenience store operator Lawson Inc. has brought all suspended stores back online.
Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd.’s Mitsukoshi store in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi, was closed Sunday due to damage to some products.
Parcel delivery services of Sagawa Express Co. and Japan Post Co. have been delayed due to the suspension of traffic on some expressway sections.
Among manufacturers, major chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. brought its Naka plant in the city of Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, part of Kanto, offline Sunday and conducted a safety check.
Mitsui Chemicals Inc.’s plant in the city of Ichihara in Chiba Prefecture, next to Ibaraki, was suspended due to a power outage. It will take about 10 days for the facility to resume operations, company officials said.
Kirin Brewery Co. halted canned beer production at its plant in Sendai because of damage to the ceilings and walls.
According to the industry ministry, more than 10 thermal power stations had been halted as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Meanwhile, no noticeable damage has been confirmed at three plants of Toyota Motor East Japan Inc. in Miyagi and Iwate Prefecture, or at 12 factories of major consumer electronics maker Panasonic Corp. in Miyagi, Fukushima and Tochigi Prefecture, which is located in Kanto.
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