Japanese companies giving South Korea wide berth in face of MERS

Japanese companies giving South Korea wide berth in face of MERS

TOKYO - Many Japanese corporations are taking precautions as the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea worsens, with some banning business trips and canceling events.

Omron notified group employees Wednesday that they should refrain from traveling to South Korea. In cases where a trip is absolutely necessary, the company advised workers to take steps to ensure their safety. The company had already urged caution on June 3 but decided to step it up after a sharp jump in cases since last week.

Nagoya-based Rinnai, which controls 50 per cent of the South Korean market for gas stoves, has banned travel between Japan and South Korea since Monday. Three Japanese work in the company's South Korean operations, and management is calling off corporate events such as a sports festival planned there.

Toyota Tsusho, a trading company in the Toyota group, used its online portal Friday to advise employees on business trips to the country to avoid crowds. Autoparts maker Aisin Seiki has issued a similar warning.

Toyota Motor has not taken any special steps such as restricting travel, but will watch the situation closely, according to a public relations official.

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