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Japanese shipping firms forecast to hire 10,000 Filipino seamen

Japanese shipping firms forecast to hire 10,000 Filipino seamen

Manila: Japanese shipping companies are expected to hire 10,000 Filipino seamen in the next three years, according to the Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council (PJMCC). Eduardo Manese, PJMCC president, said that at present there are about 30,000 Filipino seamen manning Japanese vessels, making them the biggest single nationality hired by Japanese ship firms. Manese said that of the 12,000 seamen Japan needs to date until 2010, they prefer to hire 10,000 Filipinos. PJMCC records show that 80 per cent of newly built Japanese vessels are manned by Filipino crew.
Japan has a total of 2,223 merchant fleet at the end of 2006 but this will increase to 3,000 ships and 4,000 vessels at the end of 2010 and 2015, respectively.
NYK Lines, one of the biggest shipping companies in Japan, will increase its fleet from the current 787 vessels to 938 by 2010, Mitsui OSK Lines will also increase its ships from 803 at present to 1,200 by 2013, and K-Line from 468 to 700.
Manese said that it was PJMCC's initiative to conduct an assessment exam among the second-year students of BS Maritime Transportation or BS Maritime Engineering, a measure that would encourage those weak ones to shift to other courses rather than continue and not be accommodated by the industry's standards. "We have already started it last year. And hopefully, we can continue it in the coming years," Manese said. Japan has been suffering from a scarcity of seafarers for ocean-going vessels as a result of its aging population. From a peak of 56,833 in 1974, it reached an all-time low of 2,625 Japanese seamen in 2005, or just the same figure that the world's most populous countries, China and India can provide. [11/01/08]

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