Mazda Motor Corporation said on Friday (18 March) it would resume "temporary production" at its Hiroshima and Hofu plants from 22 March, "producing replacement parts, parts for overseas production and vehicles utilising 'in-process' inventories".

"This temporary resumption of operations will not affect recovery and relief activities in the areas affected by the earthquake," the automaker said in a statement.

"A decision on the resumption of full-scale production of both parts and vehicles will be made at a later date."

Following what is now officially known as the 'Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake', Mazda suspended Japanese production from the night shift on 14 March to 21 March.