A new company jointly established by the top and second-ranked companies in the Japanese shipbuilding industry, which continues to be in a difficult situation pushed by China and South Korea, has begun operations.

We will work together to design ships with high environmental performance and aim to make a comeback in the global market.

The new company was founded on January 1st by Imabari Shipbuilding, the largest shipbuilder in Japan, and Japan Marine United, the second largest shipbuilder.

On the 6th, President Akinori Maeda of the new company held a press conference in Tokyo, saying, "There is a common understanding that we must overcome international competition. We will maximize the effects of the alliance and utilize each other's strengths. "I said my aspirations.

The new company will design ships with high environmental performance that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will carry out sales operations to receive orders from both companies.

The Japanese shipbuilding industry, which once held the top share in the world, was pushed by Chinese and South Korean manufacturers who received strong support from the country, and the world share dropped to the third place, and the influence of the new coronavirus was added. The difficult situation continues.

The top and second-ranked companies in Japan will collaborate on the development of ships with high environmental performance to regain the inferior global market.

Japan's "household art" shipbuilding industry now

The shipbuilding industry, which was once the overwhelming top position in the world market and was also called Japan's "household art," has been pushed by the strong support of the country, such as China and South Korea, and the difficult situation continues.

According to the Shipbuilders' Association of Japan, the postwar shipbuilding industry was centered on Europe and the United States, but in 1956 Japan took up 26% of the world market and jumped to the top.

From the latter half of the 1960s to the mid-1970s, the global market share reached nearly 50%, and the shipbuilding industry became a symbolic industry of Japan, which achieved high growth in manufacturing.

However, Korean and Chinese shipbuilding companies, which are superior in cost competitiveness due to subsidies from the government, are gradually becoming more competitive.

In 2000, he surrendered the top position, which he had maintained for more than 40 years, to South Korea, and in 2009, he was overtaken by China and fell to third place.

Since then, the gap between the two countries has not been closed, and China's share of the global market is 35%, South Korea's 32%, and Japan's 24%, which is about 10 points apart.

Furthermore, last year, due to movement restrictions due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, orders fell sharply due to the fact that business negotiations were not completed, and for the three months from April when the first state of emergency was declared. , It fell to 44%, less than half of the same period last year.

The Shipbuilders' Association of Japan accepts that "the amount of construction work on hand is small and the environment is extremely harsh."

To overcome this difficult situation, Japanese shipbuilders are trying to find a way to develop ships with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

In October last year, nine domestic shipbuilding companies and others established the "Next Generation Environmental Ship Development Center" to try to regain the global market with ships with high environmental performance in line with the trend of "decarbonization". I am.

Government to strengthen support for shipbuilding industry

The government plans to submit a bill to the ordinary Diet session starting this month to strengthen support for the Japanese shipbuilding industry.

Last May, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism consulted with a council made up of experts to discuss the ideal form of government support.

The report compiled by the council last month describes the current state of the Japanese shipbuilding industry as an "unprecedented crisis situation," and in order to enhance its international competitiveness, it is necessary to consolidate and produce by integrating the management of shipbuilding companies. He points out that it is necessary to improve sexuality.

Based on this, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will provide long-term loans from government-affiliated financial institutions and new companies on the condition that it formulates plans for efficiency such as business restructuring and introduction of robots and receives national approval. We will support shipbuilding companies from a wide range of perspectives, such as measures to reduce the tax burden when establishing a company, and subsidies for technological development.

The government will submit the necessary bill to the ordinary session of the Diet starting this month.

The government wants to enhance the international competitiveness of the shipbuilding industry and maintain employment in regions with many production bases.

However, it is unpredictable whether we can compete with Chinese and South Korean shipbuilding companies that are expanding in scale through bold reorganization.