Panasonic restarts factories postquake

Company says many of its factories have been restarted and two have been partially restarted following the devastating quake and tsunami three weeks ago in Japan.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Panasonic is slowly but surely getting its operations in Japan back on track.

The company's manufacturing efforts were hit hard by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that spawned a devastating tsunami in northern Japan three weeks ago.

Japan-based Panasonic provided an update today on the status of its production efforts. A few days after the quake, the company had reported some "minor injuries" among employees. Today, the company noted that all of its employees have been accounted for and that all are safe.

On the production side, Panasonic said that as of late March, it had fully restarted operations in its electronic materials and commercial air conditioner plants. Around the same time, it started "partial production operations" in its LCD TV plant. Its digital camera lens and SD card manufacturing facility is also functioning at partial capacity.

Panasonic didn't switch on its digital camera and optical pickups factories until today. The company said that those plants will be operating at "partial" capacity for the time being.

"While placing priority on the safety of Panasonic's employees and in cooperation with the planned power outages scheduled by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Panasonic is preparing to resume production at factories in the affected region," the company said in a statement today.

Panasonic is certainly not alone in trying to rebuild its production efforts following last month's earthquake. Last week, Toshiba reported that it stopped all production at plants in Japan's Iwate Prefecture. Sony was also forced to temporarily shut down some production facilities following the earthquake, but it said last week that many of its facilities are working at partial capacity.