News / Asia

World Bank Puts Japan Recovery Cost at $235 Billion

World Bank officials say the recent earthquake and tsunami could cost Japan's economy as much as $235 billion and recovery could take up to five years.

Monday's report from the bank says the damage may turn out to be the equivalent of 4 percent of the nation's economic output.  The bank predicts that growth will pick up as reconstruction efforts accelerate.  

Tokyo markets were closed Monday for a national holiday (spring equinox), but share prices declined most of last week.  They rallied Friday after the G-7 group of industrialized nations pledged joint action to help Japan by pushing down the value of the yen.  

Japan's economy is heavily dependent on exports, and the recent sharp rise in the yen hurts exports by making Japanese-produced products more expensive on world markets.  The yen's value had been growing as speculators bought the currency, predicting it would gain as Japanese companies sold foreign assets and brought that money home to fund reconstruction.

Nissan Motor Company said Sunday it will resume auto parts production Thursday at five of its plants and will resume vehicle production as long as supplies last.  Most of Japan's auto industry shut down after this month's disaster.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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