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Japan: Japan Tourism Profile 2012






Japan Transportation Profile 2012

The roads of Japan are the transportation of passengers and cargo. To facilitate the rapid increase in traffic problems, building a vast road network was started in the 1970s. road construction and large continued throughout the 1980s. In 1998, the bridge with the world's longest suspension was completed, connecting Honshu and Awaji Island.
Until the mid-1960s, railroads were the primary means of transporting passengers and cargo carrier second. Today, they rank second in the transport of passengers and third, behind coastal shipping in transporting freight. Most railways are operated by companies that are part of the Japan Railways Group, a private concern.
Japan has several high speed trains (bullet train) lines offer passenger service between most major cities. Trains on these lines at speeds of 170 mph (270 kph) and more. The Tokyo-Osaka bullet train, inaugurated in 1964, Japan was the first high-speed rail line. Hokkaido and Honshu islands are linked by the longest tunnel in the world-rail tunnel of 33.5 miles (53.9 km) Seikan. A number of Japanese cities have subway systems.
Cabotage has long played an important role, mainly because of the high concentration of population and industry around the sea shipping, largely destroyed in the Second World War, is again one of the largest and most modern in the world. Among the many ports, the main ones in Yokohama, Kobe, Nagoya.
Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways of Japan's major airlines providing both international and domestic. Airports serving Tokyo and Osaka are the chief terminal for domestic flights and international. Many foreign international airlines fly to Japan.
Shipping Report Q3 2010
A number of Japanese shipping lines appear to have concluded that in the current volatile conditions the dry bulk market is a safer bet than the container business. In May Japanese shipping line Shinwa Kaiun Kaisha (SKK) further exposed itself to the dry bulk market by buying the transport subsidiary of Nippon Steel, Nippon Steel Shipping. The merger, which was due to be completed in October 2010, will see SKK double the size of its fleet. In a press release SKK stated that 'looking at the future of the dry bulk market, on the demand side, it is hoped that the market will grow once again, supported by the recovery in actual demand centred on China'. BMI cautions, however, that the Chinese economy may cool down next year.
A second reason for our caution is that China plans to develop its own fleet to meet its shipping needs, meaning that in the mid to long term we could see decreased demand for non-Chinese vessels as the country develops its merchant fleet and decreases its reliance on foreign shipping lines. That said, the merger will protect against further volatility, as the joining of the two companies will consolidate Japan's dry bulk shipping sector, ensuring that companies are working together rather than competing during a period of uncertainty.
The local environment facing Japan's ports and shipping industry was difficult in mid-2010. The new administration of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was still struggling to measure up to the challenges of government. The replacement of the prime minister (Yukio Hatoyama resigned at the beginning of June and was succeeded by Naoto Kan) was taken as a sign that the DPJ had yet to find its stride. Meanwhile, the economy continued to be a source of concern. We predicts a poor investment outlook, muted consumer spending, and a downturn in exports as Chinese and US demand is expected to falter. After falling by 5.8% in the recession year of 2009, BMI predicts that Japanese GDP will grow by 1.9% in 2010, but then lose momentum again with growth of only 0.9% in 2011.
At the Port of Yokohama (POY) we are predicting 5.7% growth in total tonnage this year to 122.082mn tonnes, representing a partial recovery after the very steep slump in 2009, when tonnage fell by 18.5%. At the Port of Tokyo (POT) this year we see total tonnage gaining by 7.0% to 91.163mn tonnes, a partial recovery from 2009's drop of 10.6%. In both ports container handling will grow somewhat faster than general tonnage, with the rate of expansion set to be sustained over the next five years.
In real terms, Japan's foreign trade (imports plus exports) slumped by 21% during the global recession in 2009. We are  predicting an 8.1% recovery this year, followed by lower growth of 4.8% in 2011 as we enter potential global 'double dip' territory. Average annual foreign trade growth in the five years to 2014 will be 6.2% per annum. Imports will grow by 7.3% per annum in real terms, ahead of exports at only 5.4%.
The balance of risks to our Japanese shipping forecasts is on the downside. We see the main risk as coming from the fragile nature of the Japanese economic recovery. A somewhat inexperienced government is seeking to manage an extremely difficult fiscal situation and a heavy debt overhang. If the DPJ administration miscalculates, the likely outcome is a loss of business confidence and slower growth, even a fall back into recession.
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