Companies across Japan are in emergency mode and assessing the immediate physical and economic damage caused by the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake followed by the tsunami that inundated the northern part of the country today.
Honda Motors is the only known company so far to have faced two casualties at its premises - two men were killed by a collapsing wall at a Honda factory in Tochigi prefecture according to reports from the local police, though it has not been ascertained if they were employees of the carmaker.
Electronics giant Sony Corp. and carmaker Toyota have reportedly shut down production at several of their plants; Sony, which has halted production and evacuated six of its factories told Bloomberg that the company is trying to determine the impact of power outages and damage to its facilities in the region; Toyota, too, has shuttered three of its factories.
Auto component firms Toyota Boshoku Corp., and Denso Corp. have reported damage to their plants in Miyagi prefecture, where the roads have been badly damaged by the quake. Miyagi and surrounding areas are home to important manufacturing and industrial zones, with many chemical, petrochemical and electronics plants that are all currently assessing the damage to their facilities.
Cellular phone majors have confirmed extensive service disruptions and train services have been halted too. Airports including Tokyo's Narita have been shuttered.
As reports continue to pour in from various industrial groups and firms, the extent of economic damage will become clearer; meanwhile the Bank of Japan has said that it will continue to assess the impact of the earthquake on financial markets as well as on financial institutions' business, and assured that it will do its utmost, including the provision of liquidity, to ensure stability in financial markets and to secure the smooth settlement of funds.