February 20, 2020 / 7:19 AM / a month ago

Japan government to work with carmakers, suppliers to minimize virus impact

FILE PHOTO: People walk beside test-driving cars outside a car maker's showroom in Tokyo May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s economy ministry on Thursday said it would set up a team including the country’s automakers, suppliers and the government to discuss and prepare measures to minimize any impact from the coronavirus outbreak on its auto industry.

“It’s too early to see any major impact from the outbreak, but we don’t want to be late in any response, if needed,” said Futoshi Kono, head of the automobile section at the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

Output at some Chinese plants operated by Japanese automakers and their suppliers remains suspended as China’s manufacturing sector struggles to restart after an extended Lunar New Year break, hindered by travel and quarantine restrictions imposed to curb the epidemic.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Kim Coghill

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