Japan fears further business plunge
Mon, 04 Apr 2011 07:17:30 GMT
The latest Bank of Japan (BOJ) survey shows Japanese business confidence is set to plunge following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the current nuclear crisis in the Asian country.
Japan's Central Bank reported on Monday that the country's large manufacturers' business confidence fell after the March 11 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that devastated the northeastern coastal region of Japan and left the east Asian island nation with well over 300 billion dollars worth of damage and an ominous nuclear disaster.
The post-quake survey indicated that business confidence will fall to minus 2 in the April-June quarter from plus 2 in the previous survey released on Friday which was based on the replies received before the catastrophic events of March 11.
The survey showed that automakers have been the hardest hit since the earthquake and tsunami forced suspension of production and inflicted power shortage.
The BOJ's survey also portrayed a grim outlook for large non-manufacturers, with the sector expected to retreat to minus 4 from minus 1.
The finding is based on a survey conducted after the disasters ravaged Japan's northeastern coastal areas.
Earlier reports indicated that Japanese companies may decide to relocate their production in Thailand as they see equal costs of resuming their production both in Japan and Thailand with lower risks of natural disasters in the latter.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway to stop leakage of radioactive substances to seawater from reactor number 2 at Fukushima nuclear power plant. Some food products from towns around the epicenter of the nuclear crisis have already been contaminated.
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Saturday the level of radiation in the seawater near Fukushima plant has reached more than 4,000 times the legal limit.
The National Police Agency has said 11,938 people have died from the earthquake and tsunami and 15,478 are still missing in Japan.