Tobacco Crisis in Japan

In addition to power outages, water and gas, Japan’s population is left without cigarettes.

From March, 30 to April, 10 this year the Japan Tobacco company, the country’s largest manufacturer of tobacco products, plans to stop supplying cigarettes to the consumer market. Thus, the Japanese will be deprived by the opportunity to smoke cigarette brands such as Mild Seven, Winston, Camel and Seven Stars and others. Totally, Japan Tobacco produces cigarettes of 97 brands.

Liggett-Duca tobacco factory

Liggett-Duca tobacco factory

Starting from April 10, 2011 the company plans to restart delivery of the main and most popular brands of cigarettes. Delivery of 25 brands probably will be restarted by mid-May. By the end of May, delivery of tobacco on the market will be approximately 90% of what was previously.

The reason for the termination of deliveries of cigarettes on the market was the strongest earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011. As a result, the company lost 2 factories, manufacturing paper, filters and other components of tobacco products.

Two factories of the company were the most affected by the earthquake in the region, supplying about one third of production.

As the company explaines, this decision does not affect the Japan Tobacco International company, which operates outside Japan, including in Russia, and carries out its work without any changes.

Japan can experience the shortage of cigarettes because of the termination of deliveries of the largest manufacturer in the country, Japan Tobacco, for 12 days.

The former state monopoly, still controlling two-thirds of the national market, explains the suspension of production by shortages of raw materials and production lines damaged during the earthquake on March 11.

“The situation is different, depending on the store, but reserves may run out in some places and for some brands”, – Reuters quotes spokesman of the company, Hideyuki Yamamoto.

Japan Tobacco also announced about reduction of the number of produced cigarette brands by nearly three quarters in order to focus on the 25 most popular varieties.

Japan Tobacco International (JTI, headquarters is in Geneva), being a part of Japan Tobacco, is the largest in Russia and third largest manufacturer of tobacco products in the world. RIA Novosti reported that in Russia, JTI owns 4 manufacturing complexes: “Petro”, “Cres Neva”, “Liggett-Ducat” and a “JTI-Yelets” plant. All the factories are working in the former regime. All JTI brands are produced locally for the Russian market.

Japan Tobacco is the third largest company in the world dealing with manufacturing of tobacco products. Cigarettes, which are produced by this company, are in demand by two-thirds of the smoking population in Japan.

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