The shock news follows Toyota’s announcement that it expects to make its first loss since 1941.
The carmaker has already halted production at its UK plants and the axe looms over hundreds of Toyota jobs in the UK too.
The stoppages in Japan – in February and March – are designed to help the world’s biggest carmaker shift unsold cars, according to the BBC.
Toyota has been hit by falling sales in the US – it is currently down by 37 per cent, which is more than General Motors and Ford. Some 40 per cent of the cars sold in the US are made in Japan.
Sales in the US are falling as the strong yen has made the Japanese cars more expensive and US consumers are continuing to struggle.
Sales in Japan are also failing to increase as Toyota saw an 18 per cent fall in December and an overall 7.4 per cent fall in 2008.
In the UK things aren’t much better – the SMMT reported in November the manufacturer was down 11 per cent in 2008.
by Nicola Linnington