The Japanese government has confirmed plans to upgrade the facilities at six of its ports, in an effort to take advantage of the Asian cruise boom.
The Japan Times reported the country’s Transport Ministry as revealing this week that the main port of Yokohama will be upgraded, along with Shimizu in Shizuoka prefecture, Sasebo in Nagasaki prefecture, Yatsushiro in Kumamoto prefecture, and Motobu and Miyakojima, both of which are located in Okinawa.
The project intends to use private sector investment from cruise lines to develop new passenger terminals and other facilities at the ports. As an incentive, the companies that develop the facilities will be given priority access to the ports.
Operators that have already signed up for the project include Royal Caribbean and Japan’s NYK Cruises.
The number of cruise visitors to Japan has surged in recent years, from just 174,000 in 2013 to 1.9 million in 2016. This is expected to continue rising in future, reaching an expected five million arrivals in 2020 – the year Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics.