The government plans to double the number of Japan-registered ships in the next five years in an attempt to stem the rapid decline in the number of such vessels, according to the draft of the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy compiled by the government's Ocean Policy Headquarters
The Japanese government also plans to increase by half the number of Japanese-crewed ships on overseas service over the next 10 years.
The basic plan will state that the government will formulate a development plan for ocean energy and mineral resources in fiscal 2008 to establish a unified system to manage the development of marine resources such as petroleum and natural gas.
As of 2006, the number of ships registered in Japan dropped below 100, and Japanese on board ships on overseas service numbered less than 3,000. The basic plan pointed out that the nation depends heavily on marine transport, and as such, the present state of affairs is problematic, as it means it would be difficult for Japan to secure necessary ocean transportation in the case of an emergency.
The government will request shipping companies, which will benefit from the reduced tax rate the government intends to introduce, to increase the number of Japan-registered ships and Japanese crews.
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun