Chip shortages begin to affect electronics industry in Japan


Current global semiconductor shortages are starting to affect Japanese home appliance and electronics manufacturers.

The lack of semiconductors has already caused delays in auto deliveries.

Unless the situation is resolved, economic recovery could be hampered, experts said.

Some auto parts and auto accessories stores in Tokyo are running out of audio and navigation systems. An Autobacs Seven Co. official expressed concern about the impact on sales.

Expecting the impact of the chip shortage to last throughout this summer, car audio and navigation system maker JVCKenwood Corp. aims to overcome the difficulties in part by changing the specifications of its products.

Gaming machine sales, which have been strong thanks to demand from people staying at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, are now showing signs of slowing down.

Major game maker Nintendo Co. has set its fiscal 2021 sales target for the Nintendo Switch video game console at 25.5 million units, down about 10% from sales in the past. last year. “Uncertainty is growing over our production plans,” said Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa.

“We are unable to ramp up production quickly,” said Hiroki Totoki, a senior official at Sony Corp., referring to its PlayStation 5 video game console, which launched in stores in November 2020.

Fujitsu General Ltd. faces difficulties procuring air conditioner parts in part because of a fire in March at the flagship plant of major chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. in Ibaraki prefecture. This affected the production of air conditioners at Fujitsu General.

Electronics retailer Nojima Co. is rushing to stock up printers and personal computers.

According to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, chipmakers around the world plan to start building a total of 29 new factories by 2022. Nonetheless, those factories are expected to come into operation two or more years after construction begins.

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