Earthquake batters manufacturing industries
Japan’s earthquake and tsunami also wreaked havoc on a broad swath of manufacturing facilities in the Tohoku region, one of Japan’s industrial hubs.
The calamitous earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan on Friday also wreaked havoc on a broad swath of manufacturing facilities in the Tohoku region, one of Japan's industrial hubs.
The disaster has damaged most of the major auto and electronics plants in the region, where many industries are concentrated due to its proximity to the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Roads and railways that are desperately needed to transport materials and products have been disrupted, while power outages continue across almost the entire region.
The shutdown of production of both key components and finished products has inevitably begun to affect factory operations in other parts of the nation. Exports have also been affected, further blighting the outlook for the Japanese economy.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey