Over 100 representatives of Japanese shipping community recntly attended a reception in Tokyo to celebrate the opening of North P&I club’s new branch office Japan. Located in Tokyo’s central Kyobashi commercial district, the new office complements the ‘A’ rated 170 million GT club’s existing Asia-Pacific branches in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Nobutaka Mukae, president of Kumiai Senpaku – one of Japan’s leading independent shipowners, was a guest speaker at the reception, which took place at the Imperial Hotel in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. He formally welcomed North to Japan and wished the club every success for the future.
Other Japanese members attending included IMECS, Kambara Kisen, Northstar, NYK, Sandigan, Synergy and Unitra Maritime. Several other leading Japanese shipowners were present along with local brokers, correspondents and other maritime professionals.
They were welcomed by North’s new Japan office general manager Kunio Fukumoto, joint deputy general managers Masaki Ida and Malcolm Allinson and senior executive Tatsuya Nagai. Also hosting were director Alan Lo from Hong Kong; joint managing director Paul Jennings, director Thya Kathiravel and associate director Iain Beange from the UK; and manager James Moran from Singapore.
According to Jennings, ‘Japan is a shipping community and nation of tremendous international importance, with a modern and sophisticated fleet and a commitment to quality and safety. 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 4 million GT. We are delighted to be working with the Japanese shipping community and to have the opportunity to increase our involvement and support in the coming years.’
The new branch is North’s third in the Asia-Pacific region, mirroring steady growth over recent years. The club opened its Hong Kong office in 1995 followed by a Singapore office in 2007 and the region now represents 28% of the club’s business.
The Japanese government granted North a business licence to operate a Tokyo office in January this year and the branch started operating on 20 February 2012. It is located on the 8th floor of the Akiyoshi Kyobashi Building at 1-17-2 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0031, telephone +81 3 5159 5373.
North is a leading marine mutual liability insurer providing P&I, FD&D, war risks and ancillary insurance to 125 million GT of owned tonnage and 45 million GT of chartered tonnage, with 4000 ships entered by 400 members. It is based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with regional offices in Hong Kong, Piraeus, Singapore and Tokyo. The club is a leading member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, with over 13% of the group’s owned tonnage. The 13 group clubs provide liability cover for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage and, as a member of the group, North protects and promotes the interests of the international shipping industry.
Viewers wishing further info on the above can contact: Kim Heaselden +44 191 232 5221 / Kunio Fukumoto +81 3 5159 5373