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Economy

Japan's COVID emergency is over. Labor and chip shortages are not

From supply woes to piled-up savings, path to recovery fraught with hurdles

A distribution center near Osaka: Japan faces a shortage of warehouse workers. (Photo by Toshiki Sasazu)

TOKYO -- Japan's streets are beginning to bustle again after emerging from a monthslong pandemic state of emergency, but the country still faces an uphill slog toward economic recovery as supply chain disruptions and labor shortages drag on.

The automobile industry has been one source of concern. Amid a chip shortage that stretches to coronavirus-hit Southeast Asian suppliers, Toyota Motor will cut global production by 40% from previous plans this month and temporarily halt all vehicle plants in Japan. Honda will decrease Japanese output by 30% from previous October plans.

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