Suzuki is not buying into the „once in a millennium tsunami.” Suzuki has a lot of its production near the waterfront in Japan’s Tokai region. Scientists give the area between Toyko and Nagoya an 87 percent chance of getting hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of about 8 within the next 30 years. Suzuki’s answer: Let’s get out of here, fast.
According to The Nikkei [sub], Suzuki will spend 40 billion yen ($500m) and move its production to higher ground and 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inland. Suzuki plans to acquire a roughly 270,000 sq. meter plot in Hamamatsu. Hamamatsu happens to be the city where Suzuki was founded.
The new site is about 50km (31 miles) from the Hamaoka nuclear power plant. The plant has been shut down and will only be allowed to re-start once huge seawalls and other improvements have been built. According to experts, this will take many years.
And this is where the bigger problem is. Japan and especially the Japanese industry may skate through this summer with a lot of perspiration, but without major power outages. The big outages loom next year. 35 of Japan’s 54 reactors are down. Attempts to re-start them are being stopped by politicians. Just yesterday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan gave an order to not restart power plants unless unspecified “stress tests” are performed. However, within a year, all remaining power plants have to be shut down for routine maintenance. Nobody wants to sign-off on a delay of the maintenance either. Which would leave Japan without nuclear power next year.
Far away from Fukushima, on the southwesternmost island of Kyushu, Kyushu Electric Power has shut three reactors for regular inspections. They cannot be restarted due to the government edict. Nissan has a factory in Kyushu, Toyota has two factories there.