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Many Japanese companies have long pursued lean inventories, but COVID-triggered supply disruptions made it harder to replenish their stocks and boost output to meet a recent recovery in demand.

Lean inventory turns into liability for Japan Inc.

Bottlenecks in supply chains force companies to rethink their strategy

YOHEI MATSUO, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Corporate Japan's focus on low costs and lean inventories has won kudos worldwide for its efficiency, but what was once seen as a great asset has now turned into a big liability amid the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the easing of the pandemic, demand for a wide range of products has begun to rebound, but Japanese automakers and other manufacturers have been unable to boost production due to a lack of components and raw materials.

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