The Japanese share market plunged more than three per cent on 18 April after a series of earthquakes measuring up to 7.3 magnitude struck a southern manufacturing hub, killing at least 42 people and forcing major companies to close factories. The biggest earthquake hit near Kumamoto city.
The Kumamoto region is an important manufacturing hub. Toyota said it would suspend production at plants across Japan after the quakes disrupted its supply chain. Electronics giant Sony said its Kumamoto image sensors plant would remain suspended. One of the company’s major customers for the sensors is Apple.
Meanwhile, Honda said production at its motorcycle plant in southern Japan would remain suspended for about a week. Sony Corp and Toyota Motor Corp led the sharp falls among manufacturers, with drops of six per cent. Among other automakers, Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co. lost more than five per cent.