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Japan Update

Industry companies with ties to Japan work to respond to earthquake crisis.




Various companies in our industry have corporate ties to Japan, and the publishers of The Big Picture extend our concern and best wishes for the businesses, employees, and all others affected by Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami.

As those companies are able to provide updates to their situation to their US counterparts, to us directly or to the world at large via their corporate websites, we’ll update that information here. We welcome any information to post.

To make a donation to the victims of this recent event, please visit the American Red Cross 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis Response at

In a press release dated March 15, Canon reports that the earthquake had the greatest impact on three Canon Inc. operation sites and five Canon Group companies, all located in northern Honshu (the area hardest hit by the earthquake). The company is taking action to realize the earliest possible start of operations – “at this time, concrete schedules for when production may resume have yet to be determined,” Canon reports. The companies include: Canon Precision, Canon Optron, Canon Chemicals Tsukuba and Iwama plants, and Fukishima Canon; the operation sites include the Utsunomiya office, the Toride plant, and the Ami plant.

Operations resumed as usual for Canon plants and group companies in the western half of Honshu, says the company, “and the company is working to ascertain whether or not there will be any impact on production at each location.”

“With regard to the Japanese government's requests for cooperation in conserving electricity, in addition to the energy-saving measures Canon promotes as a matter of course, the company has also called on its employees to make every effort to conserve electricity in their homes.”


Canon Inc. has established an Earthquake Disaster Recovery Task Force and begun taking related measures, including a prompt review and drafting of comprehensive recovery plans (spanning development, production and sales operations, for relevant operating sites). And, for those sites receiving the most earthquake damage, the task force will consider making use of alternate sites that were not damaged by the earthquake as a means of continuing production.

“We at Canon extend our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this disaster and our thoughts go out to those suffering in its aftermath. In addition, we hope that the region will sustain no further damage and will soon be able to begin the rebuilding and healing process. To aid in the relief efforts for the earthquake victims, the Canon Group is making a donation of 300 million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society and other humanitarian aid organizations, and will provide supplies as needed.”

Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, in conjunction with its group companies, Fujifilm Corporation and Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., has decided to extend a relief package of approximately 300 million yen and 470 million yen of relief supplies including several diagnostic ultrasound systems [Fazone M] and masks for dust and virus protection [AllerCatcher] for those affected by the earthquake, the company reports.

“Also, given the gravity of the situation, we aim to support less usage of electric power by switching off the outdoor advertising and refraining from non-urgent usage of electricity,” the company’s press release states.”

“Fujifilm Holdings Corporation and its group companies extend their heartfelt wishes for the swift recovery and restoration of the affected communities,” says president and CEO Shigetaka Komori.

MagX America reports that, “Our Japan-based staff no personal losses from the catastrophic events. The MagX offices in Tokyo as well as our manufacturing facility in Tsukuba were unaffected and remain open and operational.”


The company reports that “Mimaki HQ has confirmed the safety of our colleagues and their families at all of our factories and offices around Japan, including the Sendai sales office in Tohoku area.”

“In addition, Mimaki has confirmed that our facilities are not affected by this earthquake at all, thus we can continue to provide our products as before. We [will] suspend business at Sendai sales office for a while.”

“We at Mimaki extend our heartfelt condolence to all those affected by this disaster…. We will do our best to support them.”

Mutoh America reports that although the earthquake and tsunami off the northeastern coast of Japan caused evacuation of most corporate offices there, Mutoh of Japan “has received no substantial earthquake damage to any of its offices and all employees – as well as their families—have been accounted for and remain safe.”

“Limited public transportation has created a lack of production at Mutoh’s headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo, factory in Suwa, Nagano, and regional office in northeastern Japan. Due to the limited damage Mutoh’s offices received, production will go back to normal as soon as possible.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of Japan and to the families of the victims,” says Brian Phipps, general manager of Mutoh America Inc. “We are grateful that our colleagues are safe and our offices received limited damage.”


Roland Corporation reports that there are no casualties among Roland Group employees, and it “has no damage to all the factories in Shizuoka and Nagano and all the offices, and are continuing normal operations.”

“We are currently investigating the effects of the earthquake on our business performance. We will make an announcement immediately when the major impact on our business results is anticipated,” the company reports.

“Roland extends its condolences for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, and extend sits sincerest sympathies to the bereaved families….”

In a March 22 press release, Dave Goward, president and CEO of Roland DGA stated, “All of our Roland facilities, our personnel (including those from Roland DGA) and their families are accounted for and are safe. We do have a local sales office located in Sendai where the earthquake occurred and, although largely unaffected, it is presently closed while local personnel attend to more urgent matters.”

“Other than a few shipments that were in process and delayed slightly, production and lead times remain on schedule. Ground transportation, shipping ports and airports south of Tokyo are reportedly unaffected. We continue to monitor the situation closely.”

“The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, along with the unfolding nuclear crisis, are unprecedented in our time. Thank you to so many of you who have reached out to inquire about our employees and Japanese associates.”

In a March 16 press release, Pat Ryan, general manager of Seiko Instruments USA – Infotech Division, indicates that, “Overall, Seiko Instruments and Seiko I Infotech employees are all accounted for and okay. However, we do have employees with extended family in the affected, northern areas and these employees are obviously distraught by the events of the last few days. Our company office buildings, engineering facilities, and manufacturing sites are not in the areas directly affected by the tsunami. While many of our buildings have suffered some minor earthquake damage, such as cracks from the severe shaking, there was no major damage done to any of our infrastructure and we are in daily communication with our key personnel at SIIT.”

“From an inventory standpoint, our Los Angeles and San Diego warehouses have approximately 30 to 60 days of inventory, and we have another about 30 days of inventory in route from Japan by sea. So there is no immediate threat of inventory shortages of any product or part.”

Ryan goes on to say, “However, Tokyo and other areas where our businesses are located, are currently under two other threats, which may or may not affect our business in the longer term. The threat of rolling electrical blackouts and the threat of worsening radiation leakage has kept our businesses closed for the last few days. The current plan is to have our employees return to work on Thursday of this week, but this will be a day-to-day decision based on the situation with electricity (for our building and for the train systems), and the situation with the nuclear power plants, radiation levels in Tokyo, and the prevailing winds.”

“If we see a possibility of product shortages in the future, we will give you ample warning and take steps to provide equal accessibility for these products for all partners. But at this time, we do not foresee any shortages during the next 2 months.”

“Please continue to keep our employees and their extended families in Japan in your thoughts and prayers. As we all know, the situation is quite severe and we wish Japan and our employees the very best.”

In a March 17 press release, Seiko Holdings Corporation announced it would donate 20 million Japanese yen to help relief and recovery efforts in communities affected, plus sponsor matching gift programs and match charitable contributions made by its employees.

In that same release, the company stated: “Seiko I Infotech Inc. has confirmed the safety of our employees and their families at all of our factories and offices around Japan including the Sendai sales office in the Tohoku region. In addition, Seiko I Infotech Inc. has also confirmed that fortunately the engineering and manufacturing facilities were not affected by this earthquake or Tsunami, and we are able to keep supplying our products as same as before.”




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