Symposium held for fifth anniversary of International Logistics Hub
October 29, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On October 28, the Okinawa Prefecture Government organized a symposium in Naha commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Okinawa International Logistics Hub.
Operations began at the All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) Cargo Hub at Naha Airport in October 2009. The transaction volume of a subsidiary company of Toshiba, which has been actively using the International Logistics Hub since last year to supply parts for Asia and Europe, increased by seven times. It forecasts continued increase in its use of Okinawa as a relay to link up its overseas businesses. The panel agreed on developing and expanding Okinawa as a base for growing the Asian market for Japanese specialty products, aiming to become a “21st century’s Bridge of Nations.”
Representatives from companies in and out of Okinawa, such as ANA and Yamato Transport, were in attendance, and exchanged thoughts about the successes of the International Logistics Hub and its future potential.
Chairman Zenei Yogi of the Okinawa Meat Export Promotion Council, which exports prefecture-grown pork to Hong Kong, aims to increase the number of export regions, expecting flights to more countries: “Vietnam and Japan have signed a bilateral agreement on animal products, and there are now almost 30 licensed meat-related facilities in the country. If there were direct flights to Vietnam, many producers would deliver via Okinawa. Thus, it would be efficient if Okinawan produce were exported together as well.”
Head of the Global Business Development Department of Yamato Transport Katsuhiko Umetsu said, “We create additional value because producers can sell Japan’s safe and tasty food. It is a future challenge, how we can export Japan’s seasonable food abroad.” Yamato Transport is beginning its International Cool Takkyubin service, which allows next-day delivery of fresh produce to Asia.
President of ANA Holdings’ cargo operations company ANA Cargo Akira Okada stated his goals, saying, “We would like to provide superior service by our destinations, scheduling, and coordination with Yamato. We want to develop a 21st century Bridge of Nations.”
Toshiba Automated Systems Service has been supplying maintenance parts for automated banknote processing machines and other machinery to Asia since last year, using a parts center in the International Logistics Hub Industry Development Zone, Naha , as a base. Its president Yasushi Takizawa described results thus far, saying, “Initially we handled about 400 types of parts, but that has now increased sevenfold to 2800. If more new products are developed, then the number of parts handled would also increase.” He aims to expand a middleman “out-out” strategy, bringing into Okinawa parts from South Korea and China for storage before subsequently re-exporting overseas.
Okinawa Vice-Governor Yoshihisa Kawakami indicated plans to expedite inspection and quarantine operations. The moderator of the panel was economics journalist Seiichi Takarabe.
(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)
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