Industry News, WorldWide

*UPDATE* Japan… Utter Devastation

The Country of Japan (03.16.11) – Every image and news brief depicting the damage resulting from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan is mind numbing.

“In 1964 and 1965 I was a student at Sophia University in Tokyo. I began my 2 year stay in Japan as a 19 year old from the midwest. From the very first day I was totally impressed with the very quiet and reserved manner of the Japanese people. As a people they were so respectful and proud of their culture. At that time, many women walked behind the men. I lived in a 6 tatami apartment close to the bathhouse. Each evening I would stop for a bowl of noodles – osoba – as I recall, or delicious shrimp tempura, from a very small shop. In my 2 years in Tokyo every Japanese person treated me with kindness and a genuine caring concern. Seeing the people of Japan, and their wonderful country steeped in tradition, struggling with the aftermath of this tragedy of epic proportions absolutely brings tears to my eyes” Mike Van Horn

Information coming from Japan is still somewhat limited. We have included this information and updates.

Sony – All employees are reported safe and their locations known. Six factories, producing Blu-ray discs, CD ROM players, Playstations and lithium ion batteries are reported closed.

Kenwood USA Corporation offers this update on the status of its Japanese operations in the aftermath of the recent earthquake and tsunami in the Northeast portion of Japan.

Junji Kobayashi Kenwood President

“Thankfully, our staff in Japan is safe due to earthquake preparedness and the special construction of our buildings,” said Junji Kobayashi, President of Kenwood USA Corporation.  “Power outages and interruption of mass transit have kept most of Kenwood’s staff at home since the earthquake however we expect the infrastructure to improve in the coming week and our operations to fully resume accordingly.  We appreciate the concern for our employees expressed by all those who have contacted us.”

The severe earthquake and subsequent tsunami originated off the Northeast coast of Japan on March 11.  Kenwood’s primary office facilities in Yokohama and Hachioji were not damaged due to their proximity further South and West of the quake’s epicenter.  Product production of electronics is unaffected due to Kenwood’s primary manufacturing facilities being located in Malaysia.

Kenwood will provide further company status updates as circumstances warrant.

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. would like to express our sincere condolences to the victims of the March 11th earthquake in Japan, as well as our gratitude to all of our North American customers, business partners and those in the general public who have expressed concern for our employees at our Headquarters facility in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture.  We are relieved to announce that there have been no reported injuries to Alpine employees either at our Iwaki Headquarters or affiliated companies in Japan.  In addition, the well-being of Japan-based family members of Alpine Electronics of America employees has been confirmed.

As Alpine’s global Headquarters are located in the Fukushima Prefecture, facilities there suffered some damage due to the earthquake.  Administrative offices and manufacturing plants are now being evaluated regarding the extent of the damage.  Once the safety of the facilities is confirmed, operations will resume.  In the meantime, Alpine’s Iwaki Headquarters and its local Iwaki affiliate companies will be closed from Monday, March 14 through Monday, March 21.  During the closure, limited personnel will continue to work towards restoring manufacturing and operations.  As aftershocks occur, the Alpine Group will continue to confirm the safety of our employees and their families, and is committed to supporting them as our top priority.

In addition to the issues mentioned above, the threat caused by radiation leakage of nuclear power plants approximately 50 km north of Iwaki remains to be of concern.  Alpine continues to monitor the situation and heed the orders of the Japanese government.  At this time, evacuation orders are in place for regions within a 30 km perimeter of the nuclear plants and have not been issued for the region where Alpine’s facilities are located.

In light of the recent tragedy in Japan, Pioneer would like to thank everyone who has expressed concern for the company’s employees and their operations located there, and to provide you with the latest information about their status.

First and foremost, all Pioneer employees and their immediate families in Japan are reported to be safe and unharmed.  Pioneer is obviously very thankful for this.  In addition, it was learned that Pioneer Corporation headquarters in Kawasaki and their plant in Kawagoe did not sustain significant property damage.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, power and electricity in Tokyo and the surrounding areas have been in limited supply, with many power interruptions throughout the day making it difficult to maintain regular business hours.  Additionally, public transportation in the area is not yet back to its normal operating level, affecting some employees’ ability to commute to and from their offices.

Despite these circumstances, Pioneer employees in Japan are making their best effort to conduct business as usual.  In the meantime, the situation is being monitored closely.

Pioneer appreciates your concern about their company and employees.

Please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts.