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More Toyo plants power-up in devastated Japan

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Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. is releasing welcome good news out of Japan. The Toyo Sendai Plant in Miyagi Prefecture, and the Fukushima Rubber plant in Fukushima Prefecture, have resumed limited production.

The Sendai Plant manufactures automobile tires. Fukushima Rubber, a manufacturing subsidiary of Toyo, produces industrial rubber products and auto parts. Production at both plants had been suspended in the aftermath of the "Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake" on March 11, due to a lack of electric power. Fukushima Prefecture is the location of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

With the gradual return of electric power in the area, Toyo says it has made a thorough inspection of the production facilities and evaluated the safety of its employees. As a result, Toyo has determined that it may safely resume partial production.

At the Sendai Plant, some production lines have partially opened, with others to reopen soon. Production will be increased gradually. At the Fukushima Rubber plant, the full production of some products has resumed. Full plant production will return gradually by product.

Toyo says products will be manufactured on a restricted basis for the time being, due to the limited availability of electricity, fuel and raw materials. In addition, production will remain limited while Japan’s transportation infrastructure and fuel supplies are restored.

Toyo previously announced that partial power had been restored at the Sendai plant (see “Toyo plant gets power, prepares to produce”). The company also recently made a significant donation to relief efforts in the two prefectures where the Sendai and Fukushima plants are located (see “Toyo donates $1.9 million to relief efforts in Japan”).

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