The Japanese shipbuilding industry has confronted an unprecedented recession
by a reduction of demand for new ships for more than ten years. It was caused
by two oil shocks.
During this time, Countermeasures have been taken to restructure the industry, involving two attempts at rationalization of facilities. These measures improved conditions in maritime transport have produced to start to show signs of improvement in industry conditions in 1989. The future is gradually opening up; 1990 was a great breakthrough, and shipbuilding orders exceeded 10 million tons for the first time in 7 years.
On September 26, 1991 the Council for Rationalization of Shipbuilding and Shipbuilding Industries commenced an inquiry into matters including: plans for long-term stabilization of demand and supply, structuring an industry based on flexibility for the change of demand and imaginative technology, and dealing with shared international problems facing nations into the 21st Century, including technological development required for the preservation of the global environment. Herein, the Ministry for Transport took a first step towards establishing new countermeasures in place of the countermeasures to deal with the sort of slump periods which have been experienced in the past.