Quake Costs Equal 3-6% Of Japan GDP: ADB Adviser

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Damages from the March 11 disaster and reconstruction costs will amount to an estimated 3-6% of Japan's GDP, Maria Socorro Gochoco-Bautista, senior economic adviser at the Asian Development Bank, said Thursday at a Tokyo forum.

Speaking at the Future of Asia conference, co-organized by The Nikkei and the Japan Center for Economic Research, she said the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the Isewan Typhoon of 1959 had bigger impacts on the Japanese economy, causing damages worth 13% and 11.4% of GDP, respectively.

Gochoco-Bautista also said that although the earthquake and tsunami had only a minor impact on global economic indicators, such as foreign exchange rates and crude oil prices, the power shortages stemming from the disaster disrupted factory operations, influencing global supply chains.

The power shortages are prompting Japanese to take a new look at renewable energy. But Gochoco-Bautista noted that such green energy sources will unlikely be able to replace nuclear energy, given their high costs.

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.