Japan to increase ports for calls by cruise liners


The transport ministry said Monday it plans to increase the number of ports that can be visited by large cruise ships to 14 to 15 from seven in 2015.

The ministry also aims to realize visits to Hakata port in Fukuoka Prefecture and other ports in the country by the Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, in 2018. The 220,000-ton ship, operated by a U.S. ferry company, can carry 6,360 passengers.

The initiative is one of projects for the ministry’s productivity revolution headquarters, which was established on Monday. The headquarters is headed by transport minister Keiichi Ishii.

The number of foreigners visiting Japan by cruise ships has been increasing rapidly and topped 1 million in 2015.

In another project, the ministry will carry out measures to ease traffic jams using big data on vehicle traffic at about 50 locations.

Among the sites are the Yamato Tunnel on the Tomei Expressway in the city of Yamato in Kanagawa Prefecture, the Kobotoke Tunnel, located between Tokyo’s Hachioji and the city of Sagamihara in Kanagawa, the Itabashi and Kumanocho junctions linking the Shuto Expressway No. 5 and the Central Circular Route in Tokyo, and the Awaza Junction on the Hanshin Expressway in the city of Osaka.