Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Osaka May Trump Tokyo as Energy Surplus Meets Quake Risk

Japanese companies may rethink their century-long trend of concentrating resources in Tokyo after the nation’s record earthquake crimped power supply to the capital and radiation concern spurred some residents to flee.
Production hubs in Japan should be shifted to the western part of the country and away from the Tokyo region to minimize disruptions to the country’s supply chain, Masamitsu Sakurai, head of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, the nation’s second-largest business lobby, said in Tokyo yesterday.
A shift in offices to Osaka and its Kansai hinterland would benefit an area that was for centuries Japan’s commercial center. Itochu Corp. (8001), an Osaka-based trading company, said it may move some people out of Tokyo and companies from Servcorp Ltd. (SRV), an office-lease and management firm, to recruiter Robert Walters Plc (RWA), anticipate a pick-up in business in the city.
“People may start to think it’s better to disperse their risks, that it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket,” Hideo Hayakawa, the Bank of Japan’s Osaka branch chief, said in an interview last week. “These completely unanticipated threats will continue to hit us, as was the case with the tsunami and the nuclear power plants this time.”