After holding its annual meeting, the Japan Wood-Products Export Association held a seminar titled “2015 Seminar to Promote the Export of Domestic Wood Products” on June 24 at the Rinyu Building in Tokyo. A large number of people from government administration and from businesses that have a high interest in exporting domestic lumber to countries abroad attended the seminar and learned about issues related to exporting and corrective measures regarding the issues. In the greetings speech to the guests at the start, Makoto Yoshida, the Director of the Wood Utilization Division of the Forest Policy Planning Department of the Forestry Agency, said that the value of Japanese lumber exports was 17.8 billion yen in rapidly increasing 43% compared to the previous year. According to the data for 2015 up to June, the value of exports has increased 40% compared to last year, and he predicted, “The 25.0 billion yen value of exports that the Forestry Agency is targeting may possibly be achieved this year ahead of schedule.” In his presentation, Yutaka Iimura, the former head of the Miyazaki Prefectural Wood Utilization Research Center, explained that the fundamental attitude of “providing things that are wanted” is important in the export and import business. Then he said that carefully checking the other countries’ standards and conditions, cooperating and creating a unit among domestic businesses, and moving ahead with a project are essential. He pointed out “expandability” as a keyword for going to business in the world in the future.
Zaiso Lumber Co., Ltd. (Nagoya City) recently installed a line of machinery to process horizontal structural components that can be used for the construction method that utilizes metal fittings and began operating the line at its West Factory. The machinery that was installed is the MPS-VX04-BW manufactured by Miyagawa Koki Co., Ltd. consisting of 2 intermediate processing machines and 1 edge processing machine, and it is compatible with not only conventional construction methods but also with construction methods that use metal fittings. The processing machinery is capable of processing 45-50 components per hour, and because it can conduct processing more smoothly than previous machinery, an increase in production efficiency is expected. The amount of investment totaled 170 million yen. This expansion in machinery comes with the rise in demand for “Big Frame Construction” by Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd., from which Zaiso Lumber receives orders, and the expansion took place with the purpose of processing for construction methods that utilize metal fittings. Because of its special qualities in earthquake resistance, durability, and design, orders for the “Big Frame Construction” are increasing especially in urban areas, and it accounts for more than half of the custom made homes supplied by Sumitomo Forestry.
The Japan Wood-Products Export Association will build a wood constructed, two-story home called “Exhibited Model Building Using Local Wood (tentative name)” in Dalian City, China, and the association will move ahead with its utilization as a permanent exhibition facility along with partner businesses to develop its business in China. Because of the necessity of a large variety of construction material and housing equipment and machinery such as flooring, wall material, finishing material, fixtures and fittings for Japanese style rooms, sliding doors, washstands, lighting, and kitchen fixtures, the association will offer these construction materials and equipment and is recruiting businesses that will support the model building. The model building is a wood constructed, two-story building using the post and beam construction method (along with construction method using metal fixtures and construction method using panels), and it is arranged with 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, and additional living room. The building land covers about 169 square meters, and the building has a total floor space of about 215 square meters. After deciding on the construction plan, the information will be provided to people involved in the industry, and the association will respond to opinions concerning the permanent exhibition and construction of the model building. The model building will be used as a comprehensive exhibit and a “hands-on” facility in order to spread and advertise domestic lumber products to the general public and people involved in government and businesses in China, and it will also be used as a place to explain the technology and products, to hold negotiations, and to hold a conference.