Sony considering two-week shutdown in Japan to save energy

sony_logo_1Sony Corp. is weighing the costly option of a complete shutdown at some of its company premises in Japan for two weeks this summer due to power shortages currently affecting the country, the BBC reports. In addition to saving energy, the shutdown would give its staff a much-needed vacation.

The potential plan follows ongoing power shortages in Tokyo and Japan’s norther regions caused by shutdowns of some of the country’s nuclear and thermal power plants that were closed as a result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami disasters that rocked the Asian nation on March 11.

Last week, Japan’s government announced new energy-saving targets that will require many of the country’s largest operations to scale back by one quarter during the peak consumption months.

The power shortages have already caused Nokia, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson to throw the off switch at their operations.

In addition to extending the summer closing, Sony says it may also introduce daylight savings time by staring work time earlier, according to company spokesman Atsuo Omagari, who spoke with Reuters.

Sony is also considering shifting its schedule to have workers clock-in one weekend day, and give them a week day off instead. This plan, which requires the approval of labor unions in the country, would also require workers to come in on public holidays from July to December, which would allow the company to make up for the time lost during the long two-week summer break.

A shutdown by Sony would not only disrupt the global supply chain for its own products, but could also disrupt the availability of components for other devices, such as Apple’s iPhone 5, which is said to come loaded with an 8 megapixel camera made by Sony.

The Sony shutdown is only a small part of a larger swath of disruptions to Japan’s economy caused by the disasters, which have so far caused more than $300 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in history. Nearly 28,000 people are said to be dead or missing because of the disaster.

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