It’s been more than a week since Japan was ravaged by the first of a series of earthquakes as well as a tsunami. The harm from those natural disasters is still unfolding, as the world watches what happens to several damaged nuclear reactors in Japan. But in the Midwest, companies are trying to figure out what the events in the island nation will mean for businesses here.
Changing Gears reporter Niala Boodhoo filed a report for NPR’s Morning Edition looking at Japan’s economic ties to the Midwest. There are about 160,000 people in the Great Lakes region working for Japanese businesses, from Caterpillar Inc, which employs more than 5,000 people in southern Japan and Tokyo, to smaller companies like ITA, which counts 18 people on its payroll.