Ishigaki Airport gets import/export customs office

The Ministry of Finance has designated Painushima Ishigaki Airport as a customs airport allowing imports and exports of international cargo, as of Apr. 1st.

The Ishigaki airport is the second customs airport in Okinawa next to Naha, and the 31st in Japan. It is now possible to directly export goods to other countries, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, through Ishigaki Airport, and it’s expected to lower the cost, shorten the transportation time, and reduce the paperwork. The savings are also expected to lower sales prices in countries that import goods from Ishigaki making the goods more competitive, and speed up the delivery. Ishigaki City officials see this as a good opportunity to enhance the business in agricultural and marine products from the area.

Yoshitaka Nakayama, the mayor of Ishigaki City, knows that Ishigaki products are highly valued overseas. He says, “As we have five return flights per week to Hong Kong, we aim to concentrate on Hong Kong first, first by advertising Ishigaki products in events.”

Ishigaki City wants airlines to increase cargo volume during slow seasons in order to continue the regular flights throughout the year. Although inspection systems and warehouse capacity on Ishigaki are currently not well prepared, the city plans to construct an efficient importing and exporting system that is tailored for the products moving through the airport..