Successive commissions have been made in recent years of super-high-speed
passenger craft, which operate at speeds in excess of 35 knots (approx. 65km/hr).
The number of routes with jet foil services, which operate at 43 knots (approx. 80km/hr), have been increased. The 2 formerly existing routes were increased to 3 in FY1989 (1 international route), and to 4 in FY1990 (1 international route). In FY1991, the number of routes was increased further, with the opening of the Hakata - Saishu (April 5), Hakata - Iki (April 14), and Shimonoseki - Pusan (July 29) routes.
There are now a total of 12 routes operating jet foil services (4 international routes), with 13 vessels (3 international) in operation.
An air cushion catamaran, operating at a speed of 30 - 50 knots (approx. 56 - 93 km/hr), started operation between Nagasaki and Kushikino (Kagoshima Prefecture) on March 15, 1991. Consideration is now being given to the introduction of further super-high-speed passenger craft.
The coastal operation of jet foils are lifted out of the water at night has been prohibited in principle until now. However, it has gradually become recognized as a necessity in order to raise user convenience.