Tokyo Lumber Terminal Co., Ltd., which manages and operates Tokyo Lumber Pier commonly known as “Pier 15”, recently celebrated its 40th year of establishment. At its “40th Anniversary Party” held at Hotel East 21 Tokyo on February 5, about 600 people from government offices, lumber associations, import companies, harbor companies, marine shipping companies, and other companies involved in the industry attended, and the gathering was held in a lively atmosphere with a nostalgic feel with the attendance of many past employees of Tokyo Lumber Terminal. The company was established in February 1973 based on Tokyo City government’s harbor plan and received investments from the three industries of importing lumber, distribution, and harbor management, and it is a company that is 100% privately capitalized with a mission for the public good and is involved in lumber products, storage, and warehouse business. The amount of lumber received in 2012 totaled about 956,000 m³ accounting for about 15% of the overall amount of imported lumber products in Japan. When the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred in March 2011, Pier 15 became a substitute for the harbor in Tohoku, which could no longer accept lumber products, and it received ships from abroad and stored and sent out products from warehouses clearly displaying its functions for the public good.
Beginning in fiscal 2013, the Forestry Agency has decided to reshuffle its management and organization in order to take on important issues such as a change to a general accounting for national forest projects, displaying multiple functions of forests, and promoting the use of domestic lumber. With the reorganization of the agency, the Forest Utilization Division will be newly established within the Private Forest Department in order to use forest and mountain village resources to the maximum in a variety of forms including the development of utilizing renewable energy and to promote measures that plan for the revitalization of mountain villages and to prevent global warming. Also with in the Private Forest Department, the Research and Technological Guidance Division will be newly established in order to promote measures that involve employee training for technological developments in the fields of forestry and forest industry. Within the National Forest Department, the Personnel Affairs Division will be discontinued, and the Welfare Office will be set up in the General Affairs Division. After the reorganization, the structure of 3 departments, 13 divisions, and 17 offices will not change. Furthermore, even after the change to general accounting, the regional organization will not change from its fundamental mission of managing and administrating national forests in order to promote and maintain its function for the benefit of the public. The regional organization will be managed under its current structure of 7 Regional Forest Offices, 98 District Forest Offices, and 14 Branch Offices. Especially in order to contribute to the revitalization of local forests and forest industry, which is the purpose of changing to general accounting for national forest projects, the system to cooperate with privately owned forests will be strengthened.
On February 8, the Forestry Agency publicly released the results of a survey concerning the concentration of radioactive cesium contained in the male flower of cedar trees. According to the results, the highest concentration of radioactive cesium was about 90,000 Bq per kilogram of male cedar flowers falling to about one-third of the previous fiscal year. The survey was conducted last November and December in 31 locations that were selected with an even distribution of sites with high rates of radiation and sites with low rates of radiation from among the 132 cedar forests in Fukushima Prefecture and were used in the survey for fiscal 2011. The cedar forest that was measured with the highest concentration in the current survey was the same site as the highest concentration found in the survey for fiscal 2011, but the concentration of 90,000 Bq per kilogram of male cedar flowers dropped to about one-third of 2011. Comparing the amounts of concentration in other sites with the results of the survey for fiscal 2011, a wide dispersion was seen in one part, but overall, the amounts fell to about half. In addition, when an individual inhales air that is scattered with cedar pollen that contains the same concentration of radioactive cesium as the highest concentration measured in the current survey, the amount of radiation received is a maximum of 0.0000715 μSv per hour, which is about one-third of the concentration in the trial calculations for the fiscal 2011 survey.