Asahi Glass Co. official statement on impacts of Japan disasters

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. has been named by some analysts and industry observers as a glass supplier for Apple’s iPad 2. The company’s official statement on the impacts of Japan disasters follows, verbatim:

A strong earthquake hit the northern part of Japan on Friday, March 11. AGC (Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.; Headquarters: Tokyo; President & CEO: Kazuhiko Ishimura) announces the impacts of the earthquake on the AGC Group’ operations as follows.

1. Employees
AGC is currently in the process of confirming the safety of its Group members. It has been reported that several employees have been slightly injured.

2. Facilities
The following facilities have been heavily affected by the earthquakes and tsunamis. The damage situation in the Tohoku area (northern part of Japan) is very serious, and operations not listed below might also be affected depending on the electrical power supply and lifeline utilities in the region.
(1) AGC Asahi Glass Kashima Plant (Kamisu, Ibaraki prefecture): Float glass facility for architectural flat glass has been partially damaged. Production operations have been suspended and it is expected to take approximately one month to restart the production. The loading berth used for the shipments of architectural float flat glass and the receiving of raw materials has been damaged, and it is expected to take time to restore the facility.
(2) AGC Asahi Glass Chiba Plant (Ichihara, Chiba prefecture): While access restriction has been imposed in the area due to the ongoing fire on the premises of neighboring Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd., AGC is currently working on the confirmation of the status of the plant facilities.
(3) AGC Display Glass Yonezawa (Yonezawa, Yamagata prefecture): There is no critical damage to the building facilities of AGC Display Glass Yonezawa, which processes small/mid-sized LCD glass substrates, and production operations are resuming accordingly. Meanwhile, among the company’s outsourcers what handle a part of its processing operations, some building facilities have been severely damaged, and urgent restoration work is underway.
(4) AGC Electronics Koriyama Plant (Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture): Production facility has been partially damaged, and restoration work is currently underway.

Other than the above locations, production has been suspended at some of the plants for architectural processed glass in Tohoku/North Kanto region due to the damage to facilities or raw materials (i.e. flat glass), or their employees not being able to go to the plant. At this moment, it is not clear when operations will resume.

3. Outlook and other situations concerning shipments
(1) Glass: Until the operations of AGC Kashima plant resume, AGC will allocate existing inventories and shipments from other AGC Group’s plants in and outside the country and make the utmost effort to prevent a supply shortage of architectural glass.
(2) Electronics: The impacts of the earthquakes and tsunamis have been limited to small/mid-sized LCD glass substrates, and it is considered that impacts on AGC Group’s overall flat panel display (FPD) business will be limited.
(3) Chemicals: The loading berth at AGC Kashima plant has been damaged and it is not clear when production will resume. Regarding AGC Chiba plant, AGC is in the process of confirming the status of the facilities, but the restart of the plant operations from the annual shutdown is expected to be delayed.

4. Impacts on the AGC Group’s business performance
At this moment, estimated damage is not yet known.

5. Electricity saving measures
In consideration of the ongoing serious electricity shortage, the AGC Group will cooperate in the nationwide electricity-saving efforts by reducing electricity use and implementing operation adjustment at Group’s plants.

Source: Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.


  1. I am following the developments at the stricken nuclear plant and the situation is dire. With the huge EQ and ongoing aftershocks, tsunami, snow, and imminent critical meltdown, parts from Japan probably will remain scarce.

    Thinking if I want an iPad 2 I’d better go very early to the nearest Apple store tomorrow and wait in line before JQP realizes the extent of the coming nuclear disaster.

    1. “and imminent critical meltdown”

      As an ex-nuke (and the fact that seveal patents issued in my name are for nuclear power systems) I can tell you that anyone who uses the phrase “imminent critical meltdown” has no idea what they are talking about. In terms of a nuclear reactor “critical” and “meltdown” have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. In fact a reactor must be running critical to be self sustaining! That is the definition of the term in the world of reactors. Critical equals self sustaining. Anything less than critical requires outside energy or outside particles or outside “something” to keep it going.

      A meltdown has to do with either the rods or the casings or the internal structures of the reactor getting hot enough to deform. It has absolutely nothing to do with ciriticality. It has to do with heat and deformation. Meltdown, in its simplest form, simply means the reactor must be refurbished at some level to be used in the future. In the worst case it means that the core is so severely deformed that it cannot be refurbished and must be entombed in place. That is ALL “meltdown” means. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      People need to stop overreacting to what’s going on with those reactors in Japan.

  2. So, Asahi Glass has three product lines: architectural window glass, small LCD glass for things like the iPad and chemicals. The only one that concerns Apple, potentially is the small LCD glass, where the damaged was “limited”, which in this context sounds like it means “minimal”. However, the way it was written sounds wrong, like they need a new interpreter. “limited to”, sounds like the problem is only at the LCD glass plants, but what the broader explanation seems to mean is limited damage, or minimal damage.

    1. Asahi Glass (AGC) is a huge company with factories worldwide, including the US. that happens to be the world’s largest glass maker. In addition to flat glass and gadget glass, AGC also deals in LCD, solar panel, and automotive glass. Chances are that at least the glass on your Toyota, Honda, or even a Ford Edge was made by AGC in one of their global factories.

    2. @ KenC – you write: “where the damaged was “limited”, which in this context sounds like it means “minimal”. ”

      I think that “limited” is being used as a hedge. They believe it to be minimal, but want wiggle room if issues should develop. (imho)

      As for translation. It is extraordinarily difficult it is to translate into a language in which you were not raised. This was an excellent translation, though not flawless. (Notice use of “what” (“(3)…outsourcers what handle…”) instead of “that”).

      Yet I stll cannot really understand the use of “limited to” in “The impacts of the earthquakes and tsunamis have been limited to small/mid-sized LCD glass substrates” It seems to be saying that ONLY LCD glass is feeling the impact. Not so good for Apple if that is the case.

  3. Sounds to me like he said:
    (2) Electronics: The impacts of the earthquakes and tsunamis have been limited to small/mid-sized LCD glass substrates, and it is considered that impacts on AGC Group’s overall flat panel display (FPD) business will be limited.

    …it is considered that impacts on … flat panel display business will be limited.

    So what else is there that we’ve heard about, batteries? Anyone got info on Apple’s supply of Japanese batteries?

  4. @Shadowself
    You seem to be singularly unworried by the Fukushima situation. I would have thought the lack of foresight in siting nuclear reactors in earthquake zones and that the ROOAM for these BWRs didn’t consider a catastrophic tsunami to be a sufficient risk is cause for severe alarm at least.
    You also seem to be unworried by the expelled radioactive steam becoming a health risk and widespread soil contamination.
    How bad does it have to get, before you get concerned?

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