Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp said that it will cease Japan plant operations, resulting in a loss of around 13,000 vehicles of output, after a supplier of plastic parts and electrical components was targeted by a suspected cyber assault.
There was no early word on who was behind the suspected attack or the purpose. The bombing came only days after Japan joined Western partners in condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, however it was unclear whether the two incidents were linked.
Fumio Kishida, Japan’s Prime Minister, stated his government will examine the event and whether Russia was involved.
“It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks,” he told reporters.
Kishida indicated on Sunday that Japan will join the United States and other nations in barring access to the SWIFT international payment system for select Russian lenders. He also stated that Japan will provide Ukraine with $100 million in emergency relief.
A spokeswoman for the supplier, Kojima Industries, said the company looked to have been the target of a cyber assault.
Toyota’s representative classified it as a “supplier system breakdown.”
The business does not yet know if the shutdown at its 14 Japanese operations, which account for around one-third of its global output, would extend more than a day, according to the spokeswoman.
The stoppage includes certain plants run by Toyota affiliates Hino Motors and Daihatsu.
Toyota, which has previously been subjected to hacking attempts, is a pioneer of Just-In-Time manufacturing, with parts arriving from suppliers directly to the assembly line rather than being hoarded.
State actors have already attempted cyberattacks on Japanese firms, including a 2014 attack on Sony that disclosed corporate data and knocked down computer systems.
The US suspected North Korea for the assault, which occurred shortly after Sony published “The Interview,” a comedy depicting a conspiracy to kill the regime’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
Toyota’s production suspension comes at a time when the world’s largest automaker is already dealing with supply chain problems caused by the Covid epidemic, which has prompted it and other carmakers to reduce output.
Toyota also had some production halted in North America this month owing to component shortages prompted by Canadian trucker protests.
(Adapted from Business-Standard.com)