North P&I Club Reinforces Position in Asia-Pacific Region with New Branch in Tokyo.
The ‘A’ rated 150 million GT North P&I club is about to consolidate its position in the Asia-Pacific region following approval from the Japanese government to open a branch office in Tokyo. The new office is due to start operating in the next few months and will complement the club’s existing Asia-Pacific branches in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Located in the central Kyobashi commercial district in Tokyo, the Japanese branch will be led by general manager Kunio Fukumoto. He formerly worked with Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group and brings more than 30 years of senior-level marine underwriting experience to the club.
Fukumoto will be assisted by joint deputy general managers Masaki Ida and Malcolm Allinson, formerly a senior claims executive in North’s UK head office, who together will be responsible for day-to-day claims handling, marketing and loss-prevention activities. General office administration will be undertaken by senior accounting and administration executive Tatsuya Nagai.
North chairman Pratap Shirke says, ‘We warmly welcome Fukomoto-san and his team and have every confidence they will help to realise the club’s ambition to deliver the highest levels of service to the Japanese shipping community. We first started working with Japan-related shipowners just six years ago, and since then our total entry from Japanese owners and affiliates has grown to approximately 3.5 million GT.’ Ships are currently entered from members such as IMECS, Kumiai Senpaku, Misuga Kaiun and NYK Line.
The Japanese government granted North a business licence to operate a branch office on 11 January 2012. It will be on the 8th floor of the Akiyoshikyobashi Building at 1-17-2 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo and the telephone number is +81 3 5159 5373.
The Tokyo branch is the club’s third office in the Asia-Pacific region, reflecting steady growth in regional tonnage over recent years to reach 24% of total membership. North opened its Hong Kong branch in 1995 followed by the Singapore branch in 2007.