By Hiroyuki Kachi And Yoshio Takahashi
TOKYO—Much Japanese manufacturing slowed to a halt following Friday's earthquake and tsunami as auto, steel, electronics and other companies suspended operations.
Major power outages, in part because of damaged nuclear reactors, and disruptions in supply networks contributed to the paralysis. Japanese authorities said coordinated power outages would begin Monday and last at least several weeks in an effort to deal with power-supply shortages. The disruption could be aggravated further if problems at nuclear reactors in Tokyo Electric Power /zigman2/quotes/202771076/delayed JP:9501 -1.35% Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan got worse.
The nation's auto makers all but shut down domestic production. Suzuki Motor /zigman2/quotes/201794956/delayed JP:7269 +0.58% Corp., Mitsubishi Motors /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 +0.45% Corp. and Hino Motors /zigman2/quotes/209422954/delayed JP:7205 +3.04% Ltd. on Sunday said they would halt most, if not all, Japanese production at least temporarily, joining Toyota Motor /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +2.29% Corp., Honda Motor /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -6.31% Co. and Nissan Motor /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 -2.14% Co., which announced similar plans Saturday.
A Toyota spokeswoman said the halt at its 12 plants was aimed at allowing employees and suppliers to check the safety of their families. Toyota said it would determine Monday when to resume operations. The auto maker also shut plants at subsidiaries and at its Hino truck-and-bus unit's three factories.
Honda suspended Monday operations at four of its five domestic plants and said it will reassess the situation Tuesday. Factories in Tochigi, Sayama, Hamamatsu and Suzuka will be closed Monday, but Honda's motorcycle plant in the western Japan city of Kumamoto will remain open.
The auto maker reported the death of a 43-year old male employee at its research-and-development center in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, after a cafeteria wall collapsed. Honda said that more than 30 employees at facilities in the prefecture were injured.
Nissan shut all six of its Japanese production facilities as it assessed damage and determined whether suppliers will be able to deliver parts. Mitsubishi Motors said it would halt operations at all three domestic auto-assembly plants Monday and Tuesday.
Mazda Motor /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 -3.05% Corp. said its four plants in western Japan would operate on the early shift on Monday and then suspend production at night and all day Tuesday, citing part-supply shortages from quake-damaged areas.
Consumer-electronics maker Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -0.91% Corp. shut six plants—including those manufacturing batteries, chips and smart cards—in Fukushima and Miyazaki. The first floor of a plant in Miyagi Prefecture that makes magnetic tape and Blu-ray discs was flooded, the company said.
Panasonic Corp. halted operations at several northern Japan plants, including those manufacturing digital cameras, audio products and electronic components. The quake has disabled some supply and distribution networks, a spokesman said.
A large Toshiba /zigman2/quotes/205628942/delayed JP:6502 -1.77% Corp. chip plant in Iwate Prefecture also suspended operations, and the company was trying to get more information, a spokesman said. Chip maker Asahi Kasei /zigman2/quotes/204163948/delayed JP:3407 -0.53% Corp. halted production in a Miyagi plant, from which it had evacuated workers. The company said there were reports of injuries and it wasn't certain about damage.
Fujitsu /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 +1.19% Ltd.'s plant in Fukushima prefecture, which makes desktop personal computers and servers, was "severely damaged" by the quake, a spokesman said. The company said it would temporarily shift production to other plants. Its semiconductor plants in the quake-stricken north were damaged but the extent of the damage hadn't been determined, the spokesman said.
Production was suspended at Nippon Steel /zigman2/quotes/209782682/delayed JP:5401 -0.38% Corp.'s partially flooded factory in the northern city of Kamaishi. The company's nearby port facility had been damaged and it was unclear when it would be repaired. Nippon Steel said it was studying how to switch production to other locations. Three furnaces at its Kimitsu plant near Tokyo resumed operation Sunday.
JFE Holdings /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 +1.19% Inc. said a plant at its JFE Steel Corp. unit in Chiba, located adjacent to a refinery that caught fire, was safe.
Smelter Mitsubishi Materials /zigman2/quotes/201126350/delayed JP:5711 +0.43% Corp. suspended operations at four plants, citing damage and power and water outages.
Nippon Paper Group Inc. said it stopped operations at six plants in the quake-devastated areas of the Tohoku region of northern Japan. The company's Ishinomaki facility was strewn with sediment from the tsunami and almost all its inventory was damaged.
Oriental Land Co. on Saturday closed its Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea theme park on the outskirts of the capital for about 10 days while assessing damage. There were about 70,000 visitors at the two parks when the quake hit, and no injuries were reported, the company said.
Kirin Holdings /zigman2/quotes/201605850/delayed JP:2503 -3.17% Co. halted operations at its brewery in Miyagi. Kirin said four large beer storage tanks had been damaged.
The impact of the quake and tsunami also was felt in Japan's retail industry, with a large number of Tokyo stores large and small not opening for business Saturday. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings /zigman2/quotes/205310354/delayed JP:3099 -1.59% Ltd. said its Mitsukoshi department store in the quake-torn city of Sendai was partially destroyed and it was unclear when the store would be able to resume business.
But central Tokyo stores reopened for business Sunday, with brisk business at drugstores and hardware retailers as customers stocked up on goods like flashlights and batteries ahead of anticipated power cuts.
Juro Osawa and Kenny Maxwell in Tokyo contributed to this article.