Many firms moving to Southeast Asia after quake
BY MASAAKI SHOJI STAFF WRITER
Kyoichi Tanada (Photo by Masaaki Shoji)
KUALA LUMPUR--The number of small and medium-sized companies looking to transfer production to Southeast Asia has increased dramatically following the March 11 earthquake, according to the president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok.
Kyoichi Tanada, who is also the president of the Thai arm of Toyota Motor Corp. and a leading figure in the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, told The Asahi Shimbun on July 6 that the number of inquiries to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok, about moving to Thailand had increased three or four times.
He said the disaster had forced firms to recognize the necessity of dispersing production. Electricity shortages were making the situation worse by preventing the full recovery of Japan's manufacturing base.
"(In such a situation,) middle- and small-sized Japanese companies, especially autoparts manufacturers, are frequently visiting ASEAN countries for inspections," Tanada said.
Representatives of local Japanese banks are accompanying the businessmen on these visits for fear of losing vital clients to megabanks that are strong overseas, he added.
"In addition to the current extreme rise in the value of the Japanese yen (against the U.S. dollar), the March 11 disaster is promoting the transfer of production to ASEAN countries by Japanese companies," he said.