Chubu Centrair airport taps growing perishables trade

Chubu Centrair International Airport southwest of Tokyo near the city of Nagoya has emerged as a key hub for agricultural exporters as they capitalise on local subsidies, a growing global demand for traditional Japanese food and a weakening yen.


Chubu Centrair International Airport southwest of Tokyo near the city of Nagoya has emerged as a key hub for agricultural exporters as they capitalise on local subsidies, a growing global demand for traditional Japanese food and a weakening yen.

With strong support from local authorities and the business community, including a recently introduced export promotion plan, some companies have moved cargo operations from other airports to Centrair, according to a report by Chunichi Shimbun.

“Fatty fish is very popular abroad and Japanese yellowtail is one of the best on the list,” said Hiroyuki Ono, chief executive officer of Owasebussan Co., a marine products dealer based in Owase, Mie Prefecture. With exports to Taiwan surging Owasebussan said it planned to also expand its sales channel to Southeast Asia and Europe, aiming to make exports 10 per cent of its annual ¥12 billion (US$96.8 million) in sales revenue within five years.

Owasebussan officials said they chose Centrair as their cargo base because of the subsidies offered by local authorities and business organisations to companies newly exporting products from the airport under an agricultural and food product export promotion plan introduced this year.

Toyoake Kaki Co., the nation’s top distributor of potted flowers, moved its export base from Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture to Centrair last year. The firm, which is based in Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture, and has been exporting flowers since 2003, said it made the move because Centrair was located in the center of Japan and was a convenient distribution center for flowers coming in from across the country.