Japan's Earthquake Aftermath

May 30th, 2011
in econ_news

tsunami-2 Econintersect:  Major economic activity was stimulated by the March 11 earthquake and and tsunami that devastated parts of Fukushima Prefecture.  The Japan Times reports that imports of water and cigarettes surged to several times normal levels, for example.  Temporary housing construction is also booming, but falling short of the production rate desired by the government.  The Japan Times says the goal of 30,000 temporary units by the end of May will not be achieved, according to the infrastructure minister.

Follow up:

From The Japan Times:

Imports of water and cigarettes hit record highs in April as shortages ensued following the March 11 disasters and nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Tokyo Customs said Monday.

Imports of water rose about 2.3 times from a year ago to hit about 96,000 kiloliters, while cigarettes rose about 1.4 times to roughly 11 billion, the customs said.

Water imports from South Korea, in particular, jumped about 15.7 times from a year ago.

After cigarette supplies plunged when the disaster damaged a Japan Tobacco Inc. plant in Fukushima Prefecture, imports through Narita airport skyrocketed to 18 times last year's total from January to April, it said.

But the impact of the Japan tragedy on the rest of the world may have been less than previously feared.  The New York Times reports that supply chain disruptions globally have not occurred to the extent originally thought.  The Times article discusses how Japanese supplied elctronics production in Europe quickly found other sources to replace those lost in Japan.

And some things are returning to normal in Japan.  The Financial Times reported May 30 that the last of ten plants damaged in the earthquake and tsunami have been reopened.  SONY said that there were still some supply chain problems for them, however.

Sources:  The Japan Times water and cigarettes, The Japan Times temporary housing, New York Times and Financial Times 

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