TOKYO — Japan Fashion Week organizers cancelled Tuesday the fall-winter 2011 edition of the event, which was slated to take place next week.
This development, which comes four days after a devastating tsunami hit the northeastern part of the country, is not surprising. Several brands had already cancelled or postponed their shows indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Japanese stocks tanked on the second day of trade after the disaster struck. Investors continued to offload shares as news of a third blast at a nuclear plant emerged Tuesday morning.
The Nikkei 225 ended its session down 10.6 percent at 8,605.15 after losing as much as 13 percent earlier in the day.
Like the day before, retail and beauty stocks took a severe beating. Fast Retailing slid 17.5 percent while Shiseido fell 9.18 percent. Isetan Mitsukoshi dropped 14.94 percent and Takashimaya lost 13.79 percent. Onward Holdings shed 10.6 percent.
Although there are conflicting reports as to the severity of the nuclear problem, the serious radiation risk appears limited to the 19-mile radius around the plant. Radiation levels in the Tokyo metropolitan area reached higher-than-normal levels Tuesday but government and energy authorities stressed that those levels are not harmful.
A power shortage has prompted Tokyo Electric Power to enact rolling blackouts in the outlying parts of the city. Much like Monday, the first day of the blackouts, many retailers closed entirely, shortened their operating hours or — at the least — dimmed their lights and neon signs. Some companies are encouraging their employees to stay home — also because many train lines are running intermittently. Foot traffic is lighter than normal.