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MI Suppliers Report Minimal Damage From Japan Quake

Major Japanese MI suppliers suffered minimal damage from the March 11 earthquake that ravaged Northern Japan.

Roland, Yamaha and Kawai, all headquartered in Hamamatsu, are located roughly 300 miles from Sendai, the city worst hit. None reported any significant damage to their facilities, and at press time, none had employees injured in the quake. Hoshino Gakki, located roughly 55 miles northwest of Hamamatsu in Nagoya, also suffered no damage or injured employees.

"It is still too early to determine if this ongoing situation will affect shipments due to the currently unknown impact on ports, vessels and shipping lanes," read a statement issued by Tak Nakata, president of Yamaha Corp. of America. "We will provide additional information just as soon as it is made available to Yamaha."

Brian Chung, senior vice president and general manager of Kawai America, said his greatest concern now is the quake's impact on Kawai Music Schools in the affected areas.

"As yet, we have been unable to reach any teachers or students associated with those schools — but we continue to hope for good news regarding their well-being once communication to the area is restored," Chung said.

"The big concern [of Roland staff] is for the safety and condition of Roland Japan's dealers and their families in northern Japan in the Sendai area," said Dennis Houlihan, chairman of Roland U.S. "That's where we've seen all the tremendous damage from the tsunami."

"I was told that when it hit most in the company assumed it to be just another Japan earthquake," said Bill Reim, president of Hoshino USA. "It came and it went. At the time, the magnitude of what had just occurred didn't register at all. Within a few hours, the reality of the situation was starting to unfold, but by then, the workday was over.

"Naturally, there is great concern on their part for the well-being of their fellow citizens, and [we'll] do whatever is asked of them to help."