Japan’s Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which bore the brunt of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, have seen their imports from foreign countries recover to the levels that existed before the twin natural disasters.
In 2012, the value of Miyagi’s imports surged 192.8 percent from a year earlier to 598.322 billion yen ($6.43 billion), 5.3 percent higher than the value recorded in 2010.
The value of Fukushima’s imports also soared in 2012, up 85.3 percent year-on-year to 409.783 billion yen ($4.41 billion) and a scant 0.6 percent below the 2010 value, according to trade figures from Yokohama Customs, which has jurisdiction over the two prefectures.
The figures for Miyagi cover three ports — Sendai-Shiogama, Ishinomaki and Kesennuma — and Sendai Airport, while those for Fukushima cover two ports — Onahama and Soma — and Fukushima Airport.
Sendai-Shiogama in Miyagi prefecture is one of 23 Japanese ports designated by the Japanese government as particularly important ports for international maritime transport. It was the only such port damaged by the 2011 twin natural disasters.
In 2012, Sendai-Shiogama imported 552.316 billion yen ($5.94 billion) worth of products, accounting for 92.3 percent of Miyagi prefecture’s overall imports.
With a population of over 1 million, Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi prefecture, is the logistics hub of the northeastern Japanese region of Tohoku. Sendai Airport is the biggest airport in the Tohoku region.
The 2011 twin natural disasters caused serious disruptions to supply chains for Japanese automakers and other manufacturers.
Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures also saw their exports to foreign countries rise in 2012 from a year earlier in terms of value, by 36.8 percent and 23.8 percent, respectively, but their exports were still well below the 2010 levels.
Miyagi’s exports in 2012 totaled 194.289 billion yen ($2.09 billion), compared with 349.169 billion yen ($3.75 billion) in 2010. Fukushima’s exports in 2012 amounted to 45.274 billion yen ($486.82 million), compared with 52.789 billion yen ($567.62 million) in 2010.
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