(CNN) – Japan is dealing with the aftermath of two earthquakes that struck the same area just days apart. In all, at least 43 people were killed, and more than a thousand injured. The devastation is also hurting a key industry in japan.
As the search for survivors of the two Kyushu earthquakes continues, corporate Japan is now counting the cost of the disaster.
Quake damage, aftershocks and smashed roads bridges and rail lines on the island have either stopped or severely cut industrial production.
Kyushu is known as Car Island, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Daihatsu between them produce about 1.5 million of the 9 million cars made in japan each year and Honda’s only motorcycle plant has stopped production.
The impact isn’t only being felt in Kyushu either. So many car part suppliers are based on the island, which means that production is going to be hit right across japan. Toyota is going to be forced to cut production across the country dramatically over the next week.
Toyota says that a majority of its car assembly plants in japan will be shut down in stages over the next few days. The car companies CNN spoke to say it’s too early to know how long these disruptions will last. And it’s not just the auto makers.
Sony makes iphone parts at its plant in Kyushu and tourism is also booming in Kyushu as visitors flock to its natural and manmade wonders.
But attractions like the 400 year old Kumamoto castle have been badly damaged by the quake.
Andrew Staples, economist corporate network said, “It’s a significant economy.”
Kyushu makes up almost 9 percent of Japan’s economy, experts say the quake comes at a bad time for japan.
Andrew Staples: “Japan’s economy is weak. The long term growth potential of japan is only about 0.4% so any knock to the economy is going to be felt more broadly.”
Shinzo Abe’s government says it has an initial 3 billion dollars set aside to help economic recovery efforts.
And that includes, the government says, providing “all necessary support” to companies affected by the quakes.