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Prefecture asks Tokyo company to fill cargo export requirements

Date Posted: 2008-07-10

High operating and fuel costs has put Arimura Industry and its passenger and cargo ferries out of business in Okinawa, leaving local businesses with no way of getting its products to Taiwan and other islands within the prefecture.

“It will be no problem doing business between Taiwan and Okinawa,” a Prefecture director says optimistically, saying “we will ask a Tokyo shipping company to open business here.” Tokyo Shipping, a subsidiary to Japan Post Shipping Company, currently operates ships trading between mainland Japan and Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and other east Asian countries.

Japan Shipping also operates ocean liners and cargo vessels to Middle and Near East countries. “We know about Arimura Industry’s going out of business, the Tokyo shipping company says, “and we’re considering right now if it’s possible to open regular service. It will depend on how much cargo business Okinawa has,” he says, promising to “inspect carefully.” Okinawa Prefecture is in negotiations with Japan Shipping, encouraging it to bring vessels at least several times each month to Naha Port.

An Okinawa Prefecture says there’s another potential solution, too, a shipping company operating within the prefecture. “It’s Okinawa International Merchant Service,” he says, “a small size cargo business operating for a few years, but not now dealing in large size cargo business.”

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