UPDATE 1-Geithner says Japan won’t harm U.S. recovery

* U.S. focus on Japan is to help with humanitarian crisis

* Japan has ability, resources to handle crisis-Geithner
(Adds further comments)

By Rachelle Younglai

SPRINGDALE, Ark., March 25 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Friday he is not concerned
that the crisis in Japan would impede the U.S. economic
recovery, and the focus is more on offering humanitarian
relief.

Speaking at a small company in Northwestern Arkansas,
Geithner said he was confident Japan had the ability and
resources to deal with the repercussions from the earthquake
and tsunami that have devastated the country and shut down a
huge part of Japanese production.

When asked if the situation in Japan would create a pause
in the U.S. recovery, Geithner said: “I am not particularly
concerned about that, but of course a lot depends on how the
events in Japan unfold.”

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) has already announced plans to
slow some U.S. production. Mazda Motor Corp has suspended
orders from U.S. dealers for Japan-built vehicles for now
because of a shortage of parts due to disruptions in production
in Japan.

“Our focus is really what it should be now, helping Japan
deal with the humanitarian consequences of the tsunami and the
earthquake and the risk of a deeper more protracted problem at
that particular nuclear plant,” Geithner said.

He added that the United States would do whatever it could
to help Japan deal with the disaster and manage the
reconstruction efforts. Fears of radiation are escalating in
Japan as the country tries to prevent its crippled nuclear
power station from a meltdown.

Geithner met with business leaders in Arkansas on Friday,
as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to work with the
private sector to spur economic growth and jobs.

The U.S. economy has been showing steady signs of recovery
after the 2007-09 financial crisis, but there are fears that
the crisis in Japan coupled with high oil prices will hamper
growth.

“The U.S. economy is healing,” Geithner said after touring
the privately-held nanotechnology company NanoMech.

Earlier on Friday, the Obama administration released a
report that said its plan to expand and make permanent a
popular research tax credit will support 1 million workers.

The proposal is included in Obama’s 2012 budget proposal
and is popular among businesses and both political parties,
though paying for the cost to fund the credit will likely delay
enactment.

NanoMech, which employs around 30 people, has received a
number of government research and development tax breaks.

UPDATE 1-Geithner says Japan won’t harm U.S. recovery