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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fourth INTERTANKO Asian Regional Panel Meeting Held In Tokyo

The fourth meeting of INTERTANKO's Asian Regional Panel was held in Tokyo on 22 September 1998. Attended by 35 senior shipping executives and well-supported by the Japanese tanker community, the Tokyo meeting was the first time the Association's new regional tanker forum has met in Japan. The Panel was established in early 1997, and two inaugural meetings were held in Singapore last year, followed by a gathering in Hong Kong in early 1998.

In addition to the major tanker owners from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and South Korea were also represented at the fourth session of the Panel. The meeting was chaired by Mr K H Koo Group, Chairman of Tai Chong Cheang Steamship Co (HK) Ltd, while both of the Panel's Vice-Chairmen, Mr Joseph Kwok, Chief Operating Officer of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd, Singapore, and Mr Sanrokuro Yamaji, Advisor, Taiheiyo Kaiun Kaisha, Japan, were also present.

The effect of the Asian economic crisis on the tanker market was the main item on the agenda, and several guest speakers presented their views on specific aspects of the Asian tanker market. Mr Masafumi Shinoda, General Manager of Mitsui OSK Line's Research Co-operation Office, gave an overview of the tanker market situation, while Mr Shigeru Matsui, President of Matsui & Co Ltd, provided a shipbroker's view of the current state of the Asian tanker market.

The INTERTANKO Secretariat reported on the follow-up work being done on key issues of concern to the Asian Regional Panel and described how the Asian issues are being channelled within the Association's committees and Secretariat work. The following INTERTANKO officers were present at the Tokyo meeting: Mr Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director; Mr Trygve Meyer, Director; Mr Kristian Fuglesang, Assistant Director; and Ms Minerva Alfonso, Regional Manager - East Asia.

At the Tokyo meeting a series of additional main agenda items were discussed, which can be itemised as follows:

(a) ship vetting, including a report by the Secretariat on the work of INTERTANKO's Ship Vetting Inspection Committee;
(b) a Japanese review of tanker safety, following the Nakhodka and Diamond Grace incidents in Japanese waters in 1997;
(c) the safety of navigation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, including a report by the Secretariat on the outcome of a constructive meeting involving INTERTANKO and the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority on 19 September;
(d) the quality of bunkers;
(e) the lack of adequate reception facilities in Asia;
(f) the provision of adequate oil spill response facilities in the region; and
(g) concerns about the Y2K, or the 'Millennium Bug' problem.

The next Asian Regional Panel meeting is scheduled for mid-February 1999 in Seoul, South Korea.

The INTERTANKO membership includes, as Full Members, 276 tanker companies with 1,995 tankers totalling 169 million dwt. This is equivalent to 74% of all independently owned tanker tonnage worldwide. In addition, there are 286 INTERTANKO Associate Member companies.