Japanese Firms Preparing for Prolonged Coronavirus Scare

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--Japanese companies with business in China are starting to consider measures to cope with the possibility of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak being prolonged to affect their operations further.

The spread of the new strain of coronavirus, originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has limited the movement of goods and people in the country while forcing plants there to remain closed.

Many Japanese manufacturers have decided to extend the closures of their plants in China by about a week until Feb. 9, beyond the end of the Lunar New Year holiday on Sunday, due to instructions from Chinese authorities.

The extended suspensions of operations are unlikely to severely impact the companies if they can reopen their plants by the new date, as many of the plants have certain levels of parts inventories. However, the spread of the new coronavirus seems to be intensifying, casting doubt on whether the plants can be restarted soon.

"We don't know whether we can immediately reopen," a Sumitomo Chemical Co. <4005> official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press