2. Adjustments to the Distribution System in Order to Handle Changes in the Import and Export Structure and Globalization of Corporate Activities

  (1) Problems With International Distribution
    The Japanese import-export structure has changed, and international air cargo has increased abruptly reflecting in exports being more value added, and increases in imports of completed products and fresh foodstuffs. (Fig.39)
    In harbors too, there has been a large increase in the volume of completed products and foodstuffs. Both hard (facilities) and soft measures are required to respond to this.
    In the sea transport sector, the development of an international distribution service is needed to respond to the globalization of Japanese corporate activities.
    It is also necessary to satisfy a higher level of distribution needs.
  (2) Structure of International Air Cargo Transport
  (A) Problems in International Air Cargo Transport
    There has been a dramatic rise in demand for international air cargo transport in recent years.
    There have also been increases in transit cargo (cargo which is reloaded onto other aircraft), reflecting the strength of ties with the Asian region.
    On the other hand, handling of international air cargo, is extremely focused on the New Tokyo International Airport (Fig.40), and the Airport's limited handling capacity has become a problem.
    In light of these increases it is important to facilitate the flow of international cargo, raise the level of convenience and to strengthen the connective capacities for cargo in transit.
  (B) Measures to Deal With Problems in International Air Cargo Transport
    It is necessary to implement the following sorts of measures in order to deal with the types of problems listed above.
  (a) Responding to Over-concentration on the New Tokyo International Airport
    Domestic and overseas cargo handling facilities at the New Tokyo International Airport should be expanded and further facilities constructed. In addition to this, regional airports such as the Shin-Chitose Airport be used as a domestic connection point for cargo from European and North American routes should be utilized. Cargo charter flights using regional airports such as Shin-Chitose should be continued in order to make sure a demand for cargo through these airports develops.
    Using regional airport need to be improved domestic transmisson of goods by improving connections between JR services and regional airports and drawing on the positive efforts of domestic cargo specialists for better domestic transmission of goods.
  (b) Increased scheduled International Cargo Flights Through Flight Entrustment Japanese airlines cannot cope single handed with the sudden increase in demand for international air cargo. In light of this, they should establish scheduled international cargo flights through a method of flight entrustment to foreign airlines.
  (c) Increased Flexibility in International air Cargo Charges
    In air cargo charges, a disassociation can be seen between the acknowledged and the actual price.
    However, these charges are by nature, set according to market principles. A comprehensive system of approval needs to be established so that charges are in line with these conditions and can be flexibly set.
  (d) Introduction of the "Forwarder Charter"
    Introduction of a service such as the "Forwarder Charter" needs to be considered in order to promote the offer of various international air transport services responding to the increase in volume of international air cargo transport and the rise and diversification in the needs of cargo owners. Businesses using the service which combine the cargo of a number of different customers and charter an aircraft to ship it.
  (3) Structure of International Sea Cargo Transport
  (A) Constructing Facilities to Accommodate the Changes in the Structure of Trade There have been increases in the amount of imports of complete products and foodstuffs.
    There has been a dramatic increase in international sea container transport in line with this. The increase is due to a reduction in transport time due to more efficient cargo facilities and the advantages of containers as a total, comprehensive and unitary form of transport.
    In 1990 containers accounted for 84.6% of overseas sea shipping cargo. Not only has the volume of container cargo increased, but the size of container carriers has also grown.
    Container carriers on routes to seas close to Japan and to South-East Asia call directly to ports other than Japan's three major ports, and there has been an increase in the amount of container cargo handled in regional ports. (Fig.41)
    When one looks at the world's major ports and harbors, however, the scope of the facilities are on a large scale. The majority have quays of 300 meters or more and water depth of between 13.0 and 15.0 meters, and are capable of handling large container carriers.
    Japan's container quays, however are for the most part between 250 - 300 meters with a water depth of between 12.0 and 13.0 meters.
    On the other hand, the construction of berths capable of handling containers has not gone ahead into other regional areas, and is restricted to the country's three major harbors, Tokyo Bay, Osaka Bay, and Ise Bay.
    In an attempt to make up for the lack, construction and planning are presently underway of quays of from 300 - 330 meters with water depth of 14.0 meters.
    In the future, based on the "Eighth 5-Year Port Improvement Plan", commencing in FY1991, the scale of container quays will be enlarged and surrounding waters deepened to accommodate service of large container carriers in Japan's three major harbors. In regional ports the construction of container terminals for international trade needs to be developed further.
    In addition to this, in order to facilitate the handling of imported cargo, a large storage area is required to accommodate the increase in the number of days stay for ships.
    Extensive facilities are required for the smooth debinding (operation of removing cargo from containers). Large scale foreign trade container terminals are required equipped with a large scale container freight station, power facilities which can handle goods from many refrigerated containers and space for storing empty containers and chasse.
    Goods disposal, storage, and preparation for distribution functions are required.
    Import infrastructure needs to be established - to start with a comprehensive import terminal with functions such as goods disposal, storage, and preparation for distribution, and displaying to promote smooth distribution of imported goods, and supplying information concerning imported goods is required, along with warehouses to store imported cargo, and rooftop facilities.
  (B) Construction of Japanese Ships Using a Diverse Range of Energy Sources
    According to estimates for volume of sea cargo transport for the year 2000, the Japanese merchant fleet will have to make major increases in capacity. There is a demand for LNG vessels for diversification of energy sources as they require a stable supply of energy, and global environmental problems need to be tackled (Fig.42).
    Increases are anticipated in transport volume and Japanese ship construction in necessary to ensure a stable supply of LNG to cope with these increases.
    Stable supply does not only require the construction of ships but also of ports and harbors that form the bases from which they operate.
  (C) Problems in Sea Container Transport in the Age of Internationalization
    Sea container transport is confronted by the following sorts of problems in face of the rising level of transport needs.
 @There is a demand towards shipping companies to supply surface delivery in addition to port-to-port transport. It is necessary that overseas shipping companies are also required to bear responsibility for the overland transportation such as non-actual transport in addition to surface shipping operation.
 AInternational distribution needs today are not limited to the shipping of cargo, rather there is demand for a broad range of services. Distribution is considered one element of production or distribution stock and there is demand for total distribution management.
    In order to respond to these demands, increased accuracy in schedule management is required in the sea transport services sector. In addition to this systems need to be established for cargo storage, management, collection and delivery. There is demand for raising the level of services to respond to customer needs, through the supply, for example of informations services.
  (D) Responding to Problems in Sea Container Transport
    The following sorts of responses are required from overseas sea transport business and the government in order to resolve the types of problems listed above.
    In order for overseas sea transport businesses to continue to provide a stable, sound and reliable supply of transport services in the future, they need to make efforts to strengthen the business base of operations through establishing business groupings, supplying a higher level of quality through implementing comprehensive distribution, stabilize line operation through ensuring appropriate payment for services.
    In order for overseas sea transport businesses to ensure to supply a stable service the government need to make efforts such as the establishment of free and fair conditions for the operation of overseas transport activities through international negotiations on a bilateral and multilateral level, adjustment of policies in line with the United States and the EC and considering measures to eliminate unfair price competition
  (E) Maintenance of Japan's Mercan Fleet
    Japan's overseas shipping businesses experienced unavoidable difficulties due to the second oil crisis in 1979 and a major rise in the value of the yen from 1985 onwards. More extension a pay differential for the crew due to Yen's strength has reduced greatly international competitiveness for Japanese shipping, with Japan's mercantile fleet at its core. As a result of this, flagging out (Japanese ships take out foreign registry) is going ahead rapidly, and the 1,028 Japanese ships operating in mid 1985 had dropped to 449 by mid 1990.
    In order to continue the future stable development of Japan as a trading country, it is essential that the nation need to have overseas sea transport which can maintain a healthy mercant fleet. The total Japan mercant fleet needs to maintain its international competitiveness.
    Japanese shipping plays a significant role from the point of view that they supply a stable transport capacity, maintain levels of shipping knowhow, strengthen their business basis to maintain redeemable assets, guarantee stable employment to Japanese seamen, preserve the environment and maintain safety levels, prove trustworthy in times of emergency, possibility of respond to demands on the nation's sovereighty.
    Japanese shipping, with the Japanese mercantile fleet at its core, needs to work towards being internationally competitive. Construction needs to be carried out to encourage this.
    To eliminate flagging out of Japanese ships, from March 1990 asystem of mixed manning have been introduced on general oceangoing vessels under the Japanese flag.
    However, at the present time, the people concerned in the industry need to consider measures to keep the brake on, such as further increases in the number of mixed manning in the future and a review of the structure of distribution, required to competitiveness.
    Even in modernized ships a higher degree of international competitiveness is required and presently consideration is being given to the ideal structure of new, modernized ships.

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