Japan’s Renesas Electronics Corp, Murata Manufacturing, Sony Group Corp and other precision parts makers halted some operations on Thursday after an earthquake jolted the country’s northeast, the latest blow to the global supply chain.
Even as Japan’s dominance of consumer electronics had faded, manufacturers have carved out a world-leading niche in highly specialised components such as Murata’s ceramic capacitors and Sony’s image sensors.
Thursday’s production halt comes after pandemic-related component shortages have already hobbled production of autos and electronics globally.
“An earthquake stopping production is a pure negative given components are currently selling as fast as you can make them,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute.
The magnitude 7.4 trembler struck just before midnight on Wednesday east of the Fukushima prefecture, the same area that suffered Japan’s biggest quake 11 years ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2022.