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Ukraine war

Japan Inc. draws up contingency plans as Ukraine tensions rise

From Sumitomo to Hitachi unit, companies keep close eye on geopolitical risks

Residents of Kharkiv march in a show of patriotism amid rising tensions with Russia on Feb. 5. In addition to strong agricultural and resource sectors, Ukraine is home to a thriving tech industry.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Amid growing concerns that Russia may attack Ukraine, Japanese companies doing business in the Eastern European country are preparing for a potential crisis in the region by shifting supply chains and evacuating their employees.

With a population of over 40 million, Ukraine is a major supplier of wheat as well as iron ore, uranium and other minerals. Fifty-seven Japanese companies operated in Ukraine as of January, mainly around the capital city of Kyiv, according to Tokyo-based Teikoku Databank. Roughly half, or 28, are involved in automobiles and other types of manufacturing, while 16 are wholesalers.

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