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Recent industry news from Japan Lumber Journal regular article, “News in Brief”

Recently announced by the Japan Wood Preservers Industry Association, the amount of production of preserved lumber in the second quarter (April to June) of this year was 44,597 m³ increasing 5.8% compared to the same term in the previous year. Looking at the amount of production based on the type of use, the main use for construction ground sills amounted to 23,174 m³ (1% increase), and the amount of preserved lumber for other construction uses (columns, posts, furring strips, etc.) amounted to 12,855 m³ (6.8% increase) increasing with the recovery in the amount of new housing construction starts. Preserved lumber for outdoor use (wood decks, etc.) amounted to 3,404 m³ (21% increase), and with the low levels in the same period last year, the amount increased a large amount. The amounts were 2,121 m³ (13.5% decrease) for railroad ties and 49 m³ (88.5% increase) for utility poles, but for both, the amounts have become significantly low compared to the past. For other uses (civil engineering, gardening, and packaging), the amount was 2,994 m³ (62.8% increase). Looking at the amount of production based on the type of chemical preservative, the amount using copper-based preservatives was 27,414 m³ with a 61.5% share. The percentages continued with non-copper-based preservatives at 17% share, oil-soluble and emulsion type preservative at 15.1% share, and oil type preservative at 4.8% share.

Takenaka Corporation (Osaka City) recently established its Wooden Construction Promotion Department within its Engineering Division. The company is integrating state-of-the-art technology and specialized expertise related to wooden construction and responding to changes in architecture and construction and to changes in customer needs. In the wooden construction field, the company has been promoting technological development that use new material such as the fire-resistant laminated wood called “Moen-Wood”, CLT, and LVL and has been moving forward with their application in various projects. With the promotion of the use of wood rising domestically and abroad in the background, the current organizational reform will contribute to the further use of domestic lumber resources and will look into examining new businesses in the wooden construction field. In addition, it will also strengthen activities that look to promote technological development and to create new projects. In the future amongst the diversifying needs of customers and society following the changes in the social environment, the company will closely keep a watch on trends in technology and specialized expertise that are always at the leading edge of the era and will work to respond rapidly and precisely to the needs.

The Forestry Agency recently released to the public “Amount of Damage to Forests from Disease and Insects in Fiscal 2015” that puts together the amount of damage from pine weevils and oak wither disease called “naragare” in fiscal 2015. According to the report, the amount of damage from pine weevils in fiscal 2015 was 480,140 m³ (14.1% decrease compared to the previous fiscal year) nationwide. Compared to its peak in 1979, the amount was about one-fifth. Within the total amount of damage, the damage was 453,400 m³ in privately owned forests and 28,000 m³ in state owned forests with a 15% decrease in privately owned forests and a 2% increase in state owned forests. On the other hand, the amount of damage from oak wither disease (“naragare”) in fiscal 2015 was 82,800 m³ (102% increase) in 30 prefectures increasing for the first time in five years. A factor in the increase in damage was seen as the weakening in the strength of the “Nara” and “Kashi” oak trees due to the climate conditions (such as amount of rain) prior to the time when the Platypus quercivorus insect bores into the trees. Within this amount of damage, privately owned forests accounted for 64,100 m³ increasing 85.3%, and state owned forests accounted for 7,100 m³ increasing 192%, and the total amount of damage fell to about one-fourth of its recent peak amount of damage of 325,100 m³ in fiscal 2010.


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