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Business Impact of Japanese Earthquakes Becoming Clearer

The human impact of the earthquakes on Thursday and Saturday in Japan’s Kumamoto Region was immediately obvious with at least 41 people dead, homes destroyed and public services severely disrupted. It is only now though, as we move into the next working week, that the business impact begins to become apparent. Sony, Honda and Toyota have all suffered direct damage to manufacturing facilities and had to suspend some production; but at least these huge multinationals have options to move production elsewhere. What is not yet clear though is how badly supply chains may have been affected. In particular are there any critical component suppliers, to Japanese or overseas manufacturers, based solely in the Kumamoto Region? Those with a long memory may recall how the devastating floods in Thailand in 2011 led to a global shortage of hard disk drives, affecting all computer manufacturers.