2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami – Current Status Of Japanese Photo Industry

By - March 16th, 2011
2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami   Current Status Of Japanese Photo Industry

Photography By Kazuhiro Nogi

As the crisis in Japan deepens, it is thanks to journalists and photographers like Kazuhiro Nogi to convey the magnitude of destruction and human sufferings to the rest of the world. However, the very tools these committed professionals use daily might be affected by the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami as well, since the majority of digital imaging manufacturers are from Japan. Such concerns were alleviated today as New York City-base camera store ADORAMA issued an update of the state of Japanese Photo Industry. By filtering through Press Releases, news services, and contact sources, ADORAMA was able to list all the major photographic equipment suppliers in Japan and their status. While there were multiple production stoppages and logistical delays, the good news was that there no causalities reported from any companies, a spark of hope in this darkest of time… via: ADORAMA

The following is an updated run-down of how the quake has effected manufacturers of photographic and other related products.

Epson announced that the Color Imaging Exhibition trade show, which was planned for March 19-21 in Tokyo, has been cancelled due to the crisis. Epson reports that while no casualties were reported at its facilities, one of its factories was hit by a one-meter tsunami, while three other facilities have been temporarily shut due to rolling blackouts as a result of the quake. Two buildings that are within 16km from the Fukushima nuclear plant have sustained some damage and are being shut for now.

Sony was hardest hit. Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, and a growing player in the still photography world, was forced to stop operations at ten factories and two research centers due to quake-related damage and power outages caused by emergencies at nuclear power plants. 1,000 Sony employees reportedly took shelter on the second floor of a nearby chemical products factory.

Nikon has confirmed light injuries to some of its employees but no serious or fatal injuries. Nikon’s Sendai factory, which manufactures the D3S, D3X, D700 and F6, has been forced to close due to damage to equipment and buildings. Work at at least three other facilities has been temporarily suspended so the company can assess damage.

Canon has suspended operations at eight factories located in Northern Japan, and reports at least 15 employees were injured. The company said it may move some production to other factories that weren’t damaged.

A Sigma employee tweeted that there has been some damage to machinery and the building at Sigma’s Aizu factory, but no injuries. Due to the rolling blackouts, Sigma has decided to suspend operations in two of its facilities.

Fujifilm reports that its Taiwa-Cho factory, which is located 20 miles from Sendai, was damaged by the quake, but fortunately none of the workers were reported injured. Production of the FinePix X100, which was being done at that factory, has been temporarily stopped and delays can be expected for this highly-anticipated camera. The company says the rest of its operation is not affected.

Hoya Corporation, which owns Pentax, reports that several employees were slightly injured but none seriously. Some production facilities were damaged, although the company is still trying to assess. It isn’t known how the camera and lens facilities have been effeccted but due to traffic problems and blackouts, production has been disrupted.

Casio reports no major injuries, and the company is currently trying to ascertain the condition of its facilities. In the meantime, business activities are expected to be disrupted due to rolling blackouts.

In a statement, Tamron reports no structural damage or injuries, but the rolling blackouts and severely curtailed train service have caused the company to close its facilities for at least the next few days.

Panasonic reports minor injuries in one of its northern Japan factories, in Fukushima, where production of Lumix digital cameras has been suspended. The company is evaluating damage and says the long-term effect is still being determined.

Sandisk, whose facilities are 500 miles from the epicenter, appears to have escaped unharmed. The factories were shut immediately after the quake, but resumed opearations by Friday morning.

However, due to possible meltdowns at several of Japan’s nuclear reactors, the Japanese government has instituted rolling blackouts, which are disrupting companies even if they were not otherwise affected by the quake or tsunami.

The tsunami has also destroyed many freighter ships, some of which may have been preparing to ship photographic equipment to destinations around the world. This situation is currently being assessed by the companies, but it is likely there will be shortages of some gear as a result.

Epson, Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Ricoh and Nikon have all reported that they have donated hundreds of millions of Yen to the relief effort and are contributing in other tactical ways to help survivors.

This report was based on information published by TIPA, Amateur Photographer, Reuters, and statements from several manufacturers.

18 comments
vyom
vyom

japan is the country which is still striving hard to cope up with the wrost disaster such as Tsunami ...............   People of this country are very hardworking and highly dedicative towards their country......... may god bless them and give them such a strength so that they can be able to cope with such damages.................

 

 

 

williams
williams

We continue to pray that the people of Japan will overcome the crises due to the natural disaster. Japan is still helping other nations despite their disaster, Japan is a true loving country. May the Lord bless Japan. The whole world is learning the good things in the history of Japan.

aayushee
aayushee

may japan live long. may god help this country with his full caliber.

rey
rey

i think this was the answer after kobe that one statement says ,japan would build a quake proof building,it sounds thats a challenge. does could overcome the nature .remember any action you made thre is an counter action,the best appreciaion.is all what weve done is by the guidance of our creator.just think why were floating on the sky.who made hat.

rey
rey

i think this was the answer after kobe that one statement says ,japan would build a quake proof building,it sounds thats a challenge. does could ovrcome the nature .remember any action you made thre is an counter action,the best appreciaion.e all what weve done is by the guidance of our creator.just think why were floating on the sky.who made hat.

MrDon
MrDon

It ia more than a minor glitch for a nation like Japan, but the horror of what is going on is a lot more publicized because Japan is one of the most modern nations on earth. What about Malaysia? That place is still trashed from what happend to them. Japan will recover soon enough. BUT they have a runaway nuke plant poisioning their country! THAT is going to be a real challenge to overcome. The Russians just walked away from it. Russia can afford it. They are huge. Japan is tiny by comparison. People will HAVE to live in contaminated areas and even more will have to worry about contaminated food. Japan will become the last word in contamination detection before this is all over. At the nuke plant I work at, we are upgrading our diesel generators and double checking our water tight doors. Although we have a 30' high sea wall, the Japan wave was 62', wasn't it? Our plant is built with so many safety features that if an earthquake happened to break off the entire CA coastline, our plant would be FLOATING out in the water! The Japanese units did not even have a dedicated containment structure! Ours will take a hit from a 747. If all else fails, gravity would lower the control rods and shut down the units. It's just too bad that Japan's reactors were the old style Boiling Water Reactors. Pressurized Water Reactors are much more modern and a LOT safer.

Somebody/Somewhere
Somebody/Somewhere

I would just like to say that yes there is science involved and it's very apparent that Japan is an extremely durable country but it wouldn't be this way without the people in which call it their home, And for someone to denounce god in the face of millions who have barely crumbs to survive on is "ignorant" and purely distasteful so when Nameless, & I grow a heart and start to realize that Japan is just the beginning maybe when complete chaos reaches their doorsteps they'll start realizing what faith and god has to do with the disasters happening around the world?

katana
katana

jahan doesn't require any sort of sympathy, it is a strong, undisputable country with remarkable history. This tsunami is a minor glitch for nation like japan

I
I

Nameless has the right idea about the god thing!!! It's science, go to school ignorant people.

Victor
Victor

We cant estimate the agony, panic you been lasting through but god can so never forsake him he is our fortress no disaster can hit again

Nameless
Nameless

God? HA! There is No God! You know This Kind of thing Helps Make Life Interesting and I'm sure if there was a God He's Probably a Pessimistic Bastard

suresh
suresh

Dear God my humble request to extend your altimate powar to japan to overcome this loss and please forgive all of us for our mistakes.

Fina
Fina

May God bless the people affected by the eartquake and the tsunami along with their families. He will continue to guide us all and help us face this and any future dilemmas.

Sarika
Sarika

Oh Mother Mary..... save Japan and its people.... they are your children... don't punish them... help them..... help them.... may this not happen again in the country and anywhere in the world...

Person
Person

Oh God forgive us for our endless sin,have mercy on japan and protect the rest of us from this kind of punishment

Prakhar
Prakhar

Oh ! God save Japan............Help them...They need your help...........Protect them.........Hope Japan recover 's soon.........................................

Henry L Attungana
Henry L Attungana

i cant believe that over a thousand people died from the earthquake and tsunami i feel sorry for those who lost there loved ones there home and working place