New or expanded plants in Fukushima in 2016 hit post-disaster annual low

20 January 2017

The number of factories newly constructed or expanded in Fukushima Prefecture last year stood at 47, down 33 from 2015, according to data from the prefectural government. The 2016 tally was the smallest annual total since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The number of planned new jobs associated with the factories totaled 1,166 in 2016, down 644 from the previous year. Newly opened or expanded factories decreased in five of the prefecture’s six regions, the only exception being the northern region. The prefecture attributed the decline to the fact post-disaster plant and equipment investment has peaked out. Prefectural officials also blame it on the unavailability of contractors stemming from the shortage of workers in some cases.

The factory data covered cases involving a land plot of 1,000 square meters or more each. The tally was prepared under a prefectural ordinance on industrial development requiring plant construction or expansion projects of that size to be reported to the local government.

The 2016 total comprised 27 cases of new factory construction, eight less than the previous year and the lowest post-quake level, and 20 cases of expansion, down 25 and the second smallest since the disaster.

(Translated by Kyodo News)