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Japanese electronics industry taking a hit as disaster recovery begins

As Japan attempts to recover and rebuild after the devastating natural disasters of the past week, the effects of nature’s wrath on the tech industry is slowly becoming clear. According to Engadget, tech giants Sony, Canon and Panasonic have all donated millions of yen in disaster recovery aid, as well tens of thousands of basic electronic survival equipment like radios and batteries. This is all while delays and setbacks in production have only just begun to plague the Japanese consumer electronics industry.

32GB NAND pricing is up 18% after Toshiba suspended operations in their plant in the Iwate Prefecture. Toshiba, one of the biggest producers of flash memory, and manufacturer of the same NAND chip employed in the iPad 2, has not decided when it will resume operations in the plant due to continued aftershocks and general instability.

Electricity is becoming a scarce resource, as Tokyo Electric lost 27% of its electricity generation capacity. This is necessitating electricity rationing across the industry’s manufacturing plants, decreasing throughput and supply. Many companies have agreed to comply with government ordered rolling outages, and have shut off non-essential electronic equipment as Japanese infrastructure begins its healing process.

Many electronic components have sources or suppliers in Japan, and every manufacturer in the country is still reeling from the shocking devastation that is expected to exceed 10,000 as of this morning, according to the Guardian. While the focus right now is deservedly on the human consequences and fallout of the disaster, the overall economic effects that this will have across the globe and the industry will likely not be marginal.  

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