Factories suspend operations

The Yomiuri ShimbunMany factories have been forced to suspend operations as torrential rains in western Japan have closed expressways and flooded plant buildings.

A notable number are uncertain when they can return to normal operations.

Mazda Motor Corp. suspended operations from Saturday at two plants: its main factory that straddles Fuchu and Hiroshima city in Hiroshima Prefecture; and its Hofu factory in Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The automaker decided to continue the suspensions through Tuesday, as necessary parts cannot reach the factories due to the closure of expressways.

Mazda said it was unclear whether it could resume operations at the plants on Wednesday or later. The company’s production plans could be affected if the suspension is prolonged. Employees working at Mazda’s head office in Fuchu were told to stand by at home on Monday.

Daihatsu Motor Co. suspended daytime operations on Monday at its main plant in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture; its Kyoto plant in Oyamazaki, Kyoto Prefecture; and its Shiga No. 2 plant in Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture. Daihatsu Motor Kyushu Co., a Daihatsu subsidiary, also suspended daytime operations Monday at its Oita plant in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture.

Panasonic Corp. likewise suspended operations on Monday at its factory in Okayama, which produces broadcasting devices for business use, because it has been flooded below ground. There were no employee casualties, as the plant was closed over the weekend.

Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. suspended operations for part of the production lines at an auto parts plant run by its subsidiary in Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture, on Monday morning. Traffic was hampered on roads in the vicinity, preventing many employees from reaching the plant. Speech

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