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Canon looks to recover quickly from quake

Canon revises its expectations for recovering from the deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.

Canon headquarters in Shimomaruko, Tokyo. CC OiMax/Flickr

Like many other Japanese companies, Canon faced serious troubles after a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck the country several months ago.

Fifteen employees of the imaging giant were injured in buildings at Utsunomiya (Tochigi Prefecture), and an array of buildings spread across northern Japan were damaged. Those affected plants and facilities manufactured critical parts and components for a wide range of Canon products. In response, the company safely lowered its earnings forecast to reflect the impact of the disaster on its supply chain after suspending operations at several locations for nearly a month.

According to a recent Reuters interview with Canon Chairman Fujio Mitarai, the company has completed the recovery process much sooner than anticipated, adding "roughly 50 billion yen ($600 million) to its annual sales." Many operation sites and subsidiaries resumed production in mid-March, with a few coming back online in April.

Production is still intermittent at several locations, while rolling blackouts and raw material shortages continue to pose a challenge. To counter these problems, Canon is accelerating construction of its Kyushu factory in southern Japan that will assume responsibility for manufacturing key parts.

Mitarai also revealed that Canon may increase production lines at two factories in Guangdong, China to ease supply concerns.