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TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp is slowing production at as many as 12 plants in Japan because of rising COVID-19 infections among its workers and those at parts suppliers, it said on Thursday.

That disruption, which comes amid a shortage of semiconductors that is already forcing it to curb output, could cut production plans this month by about 47,000 vehicles, a Toyota spokesperson said.

Toyota on Tuesday said it expects to fall short of an annual target to build 9 million vehicles because it did not have enough chips. The company's business year ends on March 31.

Toyota needs to build 1 million cars in March to reach annual target

There has been a surge in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Japan since the start of the year. Daily coronavirus cases on Thursday rose to a record 46,199.

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