Japanese companies assess earthquake’s impact

Several companies with ties to optical communications technology were affected by the Japan earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region March 11.

Several companies with ties to optical communications technology were affected by the Japan earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region March 11.

NEC Corp. announced March 18 that it was inspecting and repairing damage at NEC Tohoku Ltd., which produces what NEC described as “communications equipment for carriers/businesses, routers, switches.” Nevertheless, the company has resumed shipping products assembled before the earthquake and tsunami hit. Meanwhile, damage inspection and repair also are underway at NEC Tokin Corp. in Sendai and Shiroishi. NEC Tokin makes electronic components for a variety of applications, including fiber-optic and ADSL systems.

Operations have returned to normal at NEC Yamanashi. Ltd. (Otuski), where the company makes submarine cable systems.

Fujitsu reported March 14 that Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd. facilities in Iwate Prefecture (Iwate) and Fukushima Prefecture (Aizu-Wakamatsu) were damaged in the earthquake and tsunami. Other facilities affected by the natural disaster include Fujitsu Integrated Microtechnology Ltd. plants in the Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, as well as Fujitsu Semiconductor Technology’s main plant in Aizu-Wakamatsu-shi, Fukushima Prefecture.

Hitachi announced March 17 that its main production facilities in Ibaraki Prefecture, had experienced a variety of damage. While electric power was gradually being restored, inspections of production facilities were still underway at that time. Meanwhile, regular operations resumed March 17 at Hitachi’s main production facilities in Kanagawa Prefecture, which produce information and telecommunications system related products.

The company also established a 24-hour emergency response center at its Head Office to assist in repair and recovery operations at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

Sumitomo Corp. revealed March 14 that it had suspended operations at Sumitomo Corporation Tohoku. Sumitomo Corporation Tohoku is a general trading company that represents Sumitomo in the region, with a primary focus on the Metal Products, Machinery & Electric, and Energy and Social Infrastructure Groups.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced March 15 that two of its businesses, its Tohoku branch and factory in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, had sustained damage in the earthquake and tsunami. Mitsubishi said that the Tohoku branch sustained what it called “some damage in the office” and that efforts were being made to keep the facility running as normally as possible. The company said it had decided to suspend operations at the Koriyama factory, which makes CCTVs and communications equipment.

All four companies have set up emergency assistance programs and donated funds for earthquake and tsunami relief. None reported fatalities among their employees.

For information on the Japan earthquake and tsunami's impact on communications infrastructure, see "Fiber effect of Japan earthquake still sorting out."

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