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Aerospace & Defense

Key Boeing supplier Mitsubishi Heavy runs into virus turbulence

Monthlong shutdown of Nagoya plant exposes depth of risks

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries supplies wingboxes for the model.

TOKYO/NAGOYA -- After long enjoying its role as a major component supplier for Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is now finding its dependence on the U.S. aircraft builder has more of the makings of a nightmare in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Shock waves rippled across Aichi Prefecture, the heart of Japan's aviation industry, when Mitsubishi Heavy began telling suppliers in mid-April to halt shipments, following up with an announcement Wednesday that its Nagoya aerospace works would be closed until May 29.

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