Japanese manufacturers say that 64 percent of their production bases in areas affected by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami are now running again, according to the results of a government survey.
The survey results also show that the restoration rate is expected to reach 90 percent by mid-July.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry conducted the survey of 55 large manufacturers and 25 service-sector firms with facilities in seven prefectures hit by the twin disasters between April 8 and 15.
The March 11 twin natural disasters directly affected many auto, electronics and other parts makers' plants, causing disruptions to supply chains. Many factories in a wide range of industries, even in the unaffected areas, have been forced to stop or curtail operations due to a shortage of parts as well as power outages.
According to the METI survey results, released on Tuesday, 85 percent of manufacturers said they have had difficulties in procuring parts and materials because their suppliers were directly affected by the disasters.
In a reflection of the complexity of procurement networks, 65 percent of manufacturers also said they have had difficulties in procuring parts and materials because their suppliers' suppliers were directly affected by the disasters.
According to the survey results, 70 percent of manufacturers said they have found alternative supply sources of parts and materials. Those alternatives are mostly other Japanese companies but include some companies in China and other Asian countries.
But the survey results also show that at many manufacturing companies, supply chains will not fully recover until autumn at the earliest. Asked when they expect to have adequate supplies of parts and materials, only 40 percent of survey respondents said by July. The percentage of those respondents who said by October at the latest reached 77 percent.
-- Contact Hisane Masaki at firstname.lastname@example.org.