Japanese companies suspending exports to, production in Russia

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Panasonic Corp.’s headquarters in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture

Japanese manufacturers are suspending shipments to Russia and halting production there as Moscow continues its invasion of Ukraine.

Panasonic Corp., which makes TVs and other electronics, has stopped supplying products from outside Russia to its Russian distributor in Moscow. “We took into account economic and logistical difficulties,” a Panasonic spokesperson said.

Leading construction machinery maker Komatsu Ltd. has decided to suspend shipments of mining equipment and parts to Russia, and the company may halt production of hydraulic excavators and dump trucks at its manufacturing facilities there.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. will stop exporting hydraulic excavators to Russia. The company also plans to cease local production in mid-April.

Mobile crane maker Tadano Ltd. suspended shipments to Russia and Belarus on Friday due to concerns that financial sanctions could hinder payments.

Yamaha Motor Co., which sells motorcycles and outboard motors in Russia, also suspended exports from Japan and other countries to Russia.

Each company has cited chaotic logistics networks as the reason for suspending business. With Russia facing global criticism, however, corporate branding is also a concern. “It’s extremely difficult to decide whether to continue our operations in Russia,” an official with a major Japanese manufacturer said.

According to Finance Ministry trade statistics, Japanese exports to Russia totaled ¥862.3 billion in 2021, accounting for about 1% of total exports. Automobiles made up about 40% of the total, or ¥357.4 billion, with vehicles and machinery accounting for more than 70%.

Nissan Motor Co. said Monday the firm would soon halt production at its St. Petersburg plant. It has also stopped exporting completed vehicles to Russia.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. have also decided to suspend local production in and exports to Russia.