Taking place for the 30th time, the customary New Year’s social gathering of Emachu Group was held on January 20 in Tokyo at Hotel East 21. Soichi Ema, who will become the new president of Emachu Holdings Co., Ltd. from April, announced the business policy and activities of the group for this year. Hachiro Nakaine, who became president of Emachu Mokuzai Co., Ltd. last April, announced the business policy and activities of Emachu Mokuzai. Concerning the environment surrounding lumber this year, Soichiro Ema said in his speech, “Utilization is spreading from housing to non-housing and steadily to biomass fuel, and it is bringing about a new business chance,” and he said that as a group the company will work to strengthen its effort in non-housing, wood constructed buildings, to increase its handling of domestic lumber, and to acquire forests. The company will also work on the development and production method of a noncombustible chemical that suppresses efflorescence, which is a defect of noncombustible materials. The company mainly conducts import sales of lumber products, semi-finished products, lamina, dimension lumber, laminated boards from North America, Europe, and Russia, and it also deals with domestic lumber from all parts of Japan. Among its import sales, the company is working on imports of logs from Alaska, which it began last year.
With the cooperation of the governments of Tokyo and various regions of Japan, a lumber products exhibition titled “Mokucolle – Wood Collection 2017” was held on January 19 and 20 at Prism Hall in Tokyo Dome City located in the Korakuen area of Tokyo. 16 prefecture led by Tokyo participated in the exhibition, and close to 1,000 people visited the event during the two days. Mokucolle was held last year for the first time with the purpose of spreading the general awareness of mainly lumber products from Tokyo. After that, because Tokyo is a “large consumption area”, Tokyo City government had the idea of “making a site to introduce lumber products from all areas nationwide,” so it called for the participation of all parts of Japan. For Mokucolle 2018, every prefecture is scheduled to participate next year. With forests accounting for about 40% of the total area of Tokyo, the government introduced lumber produced from the forests in the Tama area. The government of Miyagi Prefecture exhibited products made with domestic FSC certified hardwood and domestic softwood plywood that was manufactured at plywood factories in Ishinomaki City. Making use of its abundant forest resources and advanced lumber processing technology, the government of Fukushima Prefecture introduced a dynamic large-scale lumber factory that ships 70% of its manufactured products outside of the prefecture. Moving ahead with the acquisition of not only forest certifications but also Chain of Custody (CoC) certifications, the government of Shizuoka Prefecture introduced various certified products.
Line Industries Co., Ltd. (Kani City, Gifu Prefecture) opened its testing to the public of a structure it is developing called “Ichu Wood Constructed Rahmen Structure” at Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture in Mino City, Gifu Prefecture. Ichu Wood Constructed Ramen Structure is a structure in which four 12 cm squared columns are fastened together in a single column using cross-shaped metal fittings and bolts, and this is joined together with a large dimension, laminated beam. The name, “Ichu”, was taken from the Japanese writing character pronounced “ichu” which the shape of the cross section of the four fastened columns look like. The concept of the Ichu Wood Constructed Rahmen method is to implement a building of wood construction using lumber that is in general distribution and not specialized lumber. Receiving the approval under the Forestry Agency’s “Project of Urgent Measures to Expand the Use of Regional Material,” all the material used for the testing is cypress wood produced in Gifu Prefecture. The “Ichu” columns are solid cypress wood from the Tono area of Gifu Prefecture, and the beams are large dimension, laminated cypress lumber manufactured at laminated lumber factory in Gif Prefecture. The company itself is an iron factory that builds factories and factory production equipment, and the Ichu Wood Constructed Rahmen method is a wood structure that is made by “iron professionals”. For the testing, a 2 ton weight was loaded on a structure with a 6 meter span, and the strength was measured after pressure was added by an actuator with the power corresponding to the ground motion of an earthquake.