2011 has not been a kind year for Japanese com-panies. It all started with the tsunami and the earthquake.
Japan’s nuclear industry was at risk and plants had to be shut down. Since the country depend-ed on nuclear power for 30 percent of its electricity, the country was threatened with imminent darkness. Facto-ries were shut down, others operated limited hours.
As if this was not enough, the Thailand floods compounded the problems. Top Japanese companies like Sony, Nikon, Canon, Toyota and Honda having their factories in Thailand have been affected. Product launches have been deferred and competitors have tried to make inroads.
Between April and December, neither Canon nor Nikon has launched a single D-SLR although the market was rife with expectations. Sony’s NEX-7 has been pushed back to March 2012. Pushed to the brink by consistent losses in its television business, Sony is under pressure to exit it. Panasonic is also rationalizing its operations.
However, as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The Japanese have responded as one dimming lights, lowering air-conditioning, shedding jackets and ties and working from home to save fuel. Factories worked weekends when demand for power was low. And amidst all the shortages, there was not one instance of looting or stealing at supermarkets or stores.
Wow! This is the stuff that makes up national character. Will Japan bounce back in 2012? You bet it will.
H. S. Billimoria