Seismologists in Japan say there’s an 87 percent chance of a magnitude 8.0 quake hitting the Tokai region (between Tokyo and Nagoya) in the next 30 years. That region includes the coastal areas of Hamamatsu, home to Suzuki Motor Corporation’s manufacturing and research and development facilities. Call it once bitten, twice shy, but Suzuki is investing serious money over the next three years to relocate facilities further inland, at higher elevations, or further away from nuclear power plants.
Suzuki’s chairman, Osamu Suzuki, was blunt in his assessment of the situation, saying, “When you consider the risks of earthquake, tsunami, radiation and (soil) liquefaction, an executive who ignores realignment is set for failure.”
The plan is to purchase 67 acres of land some 6.2 miles from the coast and over 30 miles away from the nearest nuclear power plant. For business reasons, the company will remain in Hamamatsu City, but the new location boasts distance from the ocean and higher elevation. The automaker will begin the move this fall, relocating their research facilities first, and is also looking at suitable new locations for their engine manufacturing facility. The current engine plant is in Makinohara, in close proximity to another one of Japan’s many nuclear power plants.