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Subaru and Kawasaki to halt production for Boeing

Coronavirus disruptions reach deeper into Japan's supply chains

Boeing 787, seen here in Washington, uses many parts produced in Japan.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese aircraft parts makers are suspending production now that they are losing orders from Boeing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Subaru will suspend aircraft component manufacturing at a plant in Aichi Prefecture on Monday; production is scheduled to resume on May 11. The plant mainly produces central wings for Boeing.

Due to the pandemic, Subaru has also suspended operations at final automobile assembly plants, in the U.S. state of Indiana and in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.

Another major supplier to Boeing, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, announced today that it will stop producing aircraft parts for the U.S company from April 20 through May 6.

The Aichi Prefecture plant hit by the suspension makes aircraft fuselage parts. Kawasaki Heavy plans to resume operations on May 7. It will not stop making parts for large-scale aircraft such as the 777 and 767 wide-bodies.

At Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which also supplies Boeing, a representative said a suspension of domestic production lines is "under consideration."

Boeing this week announced it will resume operations on Monday at two plants in the state of Washington that had been suspended due to the coronavirus. However, the U.S company is likely requesting that suppliers suspend shipments as it adjusts production.

Europe's Airbus, the world's other major maker of jetliners, has also stopped production due to the virus's stampede.

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