Sarawak delegation led by Deputy Premier Unngah dives into Japanese port practices for enhanced efficiency

Credit Source: Dayak Daily (2023)

KUCHING, Aug 2: Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Unggah is currently heading a delegation from Sarawak on a five-day study tour to gain insights from Japan’s expertise in managing and operating its port system.

According to a media release today, the delegation’s visit, which commenced on Monday, involved a productive bilateral discussion with key players in the Japanese Port Industry and current investors at the Samalaju Port in Bintulu.

The primary focus of the discussion centered on the stakeholders’ valuable observations and recommendations to further enhance the efficiency of operations at the Samalaju Port.

Unggah, who is also the Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD), was accompanied by his Deputy Ministers Datuk Majang Renggi and Ir Aidel Lariwoo, the Ministry’s permanent secretary Chiew Chee Yaw, Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director Lester Matthew and members of the Board of Directors of Samalaju Port Authority including Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon.

The Ports and Harbours Bureau, under Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), extended an invitation to the Sarawakian delegation to visit the Port of Onahama.

Situated approximately 200km away from the current location on the coast of Iwaki-shi in Fukushima Prefecture, the Port of Onahama overlooks the Pacific Ocean and operates as a multi-purpose port with several breakwaters.

It effectively handles dry and liquid bulk, containers, machinery, Ro-ro, forest products, offers berthing facilities for fishing vessels, and boasts a marina.

During the visit, Unggah and the delegation received a comprehensive briefing and engaged in constructive discussions with representatives from MLIT and OHBT Corporation Japan (port operator at the Port of Onahama) on their operations, new technologies, and business model practiced between the private and public sectors in Fukushima Prefecture.

Notably, in 2022, the Port of Onahama handled approximately 16.09 million tonness of cargo, a figure that remained largely unchanged from the previous year at 16.22 million tonnes (down 0.8 percent year-on-year).

As part of their learning experience, the delegation will also explore road technology management in Chiba Prefecture.

Today, they are scheduled to visit the Port of Yokohama in the Kanagawa Prefecture, further enriching their understanding of Japanese port systems and best practices.

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