Japan's Economic Red Tide Rises

Carmakers suffer financial woes only worsened by a strong yen

NEWS OF AN AUTOMOBILE ASSEMBLY PLANT'S CLOSing is supposed to come from Detroit, not Japan. But there was the No. 2 Japanese carmaker, Nissan, announcing that it was shutting down its plant in Zama, outside Tokyo, and reassigning 4,000 workers. In expectation of a $246 million loss for the fiscal year, Nissan plans to reduce its 53,000-member work force by 5,000. The car company's troubling news is only the latest downtick in Japan's deepening recession. The country's aggregate corporate earnings are down for an unprecedented third year, promising plenty of blue-chip company for Nissan. In other bad news, telecommunications giant NTT...

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