Japan warns of economic impact of Noto earthquake

TOKYO: The New Year’s Day earthquake that killed at least 236 in Japan’s Noto peninsula is likely to have a lasting impact on the economy and requires “full attention”, a government report showed on Thursday (Jan 25).

The government also lowered its view on Japanese exports given weak Europe-bound shipments but kept its assessments of production, consumption and the overall economy unchanged.

“Full attention should be given to the economic impact,” the government said in its monthly economic report for January, referring to the earthquake.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday pledged an additional 150 billion yen (US$1.02 billion) spending from the state budget reserves for a relief package for the quake-hit areas.

While Ishikawa, the prefecture where Noto is located, accounts for only 0.8 per cent of Japan’s gross domestic product, some of the local plants like the makers of production machineries and power semiconductors have been unable to resume production after the quake, the Cabinet Office said in the report.

Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda on Tuesday said the disaster has not brought a substantial macroeconomic impact but its ripple effects to wider manufacturing supply chains, tourism and consumer confidence require further scrutiny.

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