Sony Corp, Japan’s largest exporter of consumer electronics, said one of its factories idled in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is close to resuming partial operations.
The plant, which makes rechargeable batteries in Tochigi Prefecture, northern Japan, would likely resume production on Tuesday, Hiroshi Okubo, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said by telephone -yesterday. The Tokyo-based maker of Bravia televisions would pay close attention to electricity supply and procurement of components as it resumes production, he said.BACK IN ACTION
The factory would be Sony’s third to resume operations since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake resulted in the electronics maker halting production at 10 factories. The company may restart a DVD-manufacturing plant in Ibaraki Prefecture within a week, Okubo said.
Sony has reopened two other plants in the past week as it tries to minimize production shortfalls caused by the disaster.
Four plants in Miyagi Prefecture that make products ranging from Blu-ray discs to semiconductor lasers are still closed. Two plants in Fukushima Prefecture for rechargeable batteries are also idled, he said.
Three of the plants in Miyagi incurred only minor damages and are receiving some electricity, he said.
MUD AND RUBBLE
A factory in Tagajo City, Miyagi Prefecture, where more than 6,000 people live in evacuation centers, suffered the most damage among the company’s facilities, he said. The plant, which isn’t receiving any power, is partially covered with rubble and mud, he said.
Like other Japanese businesses, Sony is experiencing blackouts, transportation slowdowns, shortages of materials and suppliers unable to make shipments, Sony chairman and CEO Howard Stringer wrote in an op-ed column published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
The company is beginning to recover from the “profound psychic and physical shock to our bodies and our businesses,” he wrote.