A quick restoration to damaged ports – and striving to bring about the ILC

The original article was published in the Iwate Nichinichi. Read the original here.

– Annual meeting for the Ofunato Port Logistics Improvement Association

The annual meeting of the Ofunato Port Logistics Improvement Association for 2016 was held on August 22nd in the Hotel City Plaza Kitakami in Kawagishi, Kitakami City (chairperson: Ofunato City Mayor Kimiaki Toda). They established their project plan for the current fiscal year, which includes improving the infrastructure of the highway network that links the inland region of Iwate to the coast, as well as working to realize the International Linear Collider (ILC).

The Association was founded in 1997 to promote the usage of the Ofunato port, open regular routes for freight vessels, and to improve highway infrastructure. The association is made up of 11 inland and coastal municipalities, 11 commerce associations, and 12 businesses and organizations. The annual meeting was attended by more than 50 people.

Chairperson Toda talked about the current situation of the port. “Ofunato Port was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, but we have worked towards reconstructing the port’s functions. In September 2013, a regular route for international feeder container vessels was opened between Tokyo’s Keihin Port and Ofunato Port. In FY 2015, we handled almost as much cargo as we did during our busiest year before the disaster (2010). I expect that we will break that record during the 2016 fiscal year.” He pledged that, “Together with our strong partnership, I hope to greatly contribute to the economic growth of Iwate Prefecture.”

Kitakami City Mayor and Association Vice-chair Toshihiko Takahashi was represented by Deputy Mayor Yoshiaki Oikawa. He stressed that, “Improving the logistics of the Ofunato port will greatly contribute to Kitakami businesses and promote Iwate industry. I hope the public and private sectors can unite together.” During the meeting’s proceedings, the financial results for the last fiscal year were approved, and the current fiscal year’s project plan and income & expenditure budget was accepted.

The project plan included

▽The quick restoration to damaged ports, and improvements to infrastructure

▽Port sales, attracting businesses

▽Collecting data on businesses related to ports and harbors

As part of their sales efforts, they pledged to work with other related organizations to educate people on the ILC.