Toyota Motor: to restart vehicle plants in Japan from Monday

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor said it would restart its Japanese vehicle plants on Monday but, given the impact of the New Year’s Day earthquake, would decide separately about operations from Jan. 15.

As aftershocks are continuing from the magnitude 7.6 quake that ravaged Japan’s western coast and many of its suppliers and their affiliates are in affected areas, Toyota said in a press release on Sunday it would use parts in stock outside those areas.

Toyota President Koji Sato said on Friday the company was seeking to understand the supply chain situation after suppliers Aisin and Sumitomo Electric suffered damage from the temblor.

As of Friday, some 80% of 200 companies with plants in the quake-hit areas had resumed production or would resume soon, Industry Minister Ken Saito said on Friday.

More than 100 people have been confirmed dead and more than 200 are still missing after quake struck the Noto peninsula, on the coast northwest of Tokyo.

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by William Mallard)