The Port and Harbor Department of the City of Kushiro is the port authority responsible for managing the Port of Kushiro. The Major is the President of the Port Authority. Called Kusuribasyo when it was used by the Matsumae clan almost 400 years ago, the Port of Kushiro was officially opened in 1899.
The Port of Kushiro plays an important role in both international and regional trade. The oldest portion of the port, the East Port, contains the Fisherman’s Wharf.
With vessel times increasing, the Port of Kushiro has implemented facility improvements that were completed in 2008. Included in these improvements were deeper quay walls and new wharves with capacity for 50 thousand DWT vessels.
In 1990, the Port of Kushiro handled over 20 million tons of cargo. By 1999, that volume had increased to over 23 million tons. International cargoes made up over 20% of the total cargo handled. The Port of Kushiro’s major imports include wood ships and coal for local paper manufacturers. Other imports include feed and fertilizers for the dairy and farming industries.
Domestic exports include coal from the Taiheiyo Tanko mines, pulp and paper, milk, and livestock. Domestic exports also include petroleum and heavy oil used for energy by the machinery and metals industries.
Eastern Hokkaido is an important source of food for Japan, and the Port of Kushiro is the core of the food-producing region. Its farms and fisheries are vital to the country’s health and economy. The region contains more than one-fifth of the arable land in Japan and accounts for almost a third of the country’s milk production. The Port of Kushiro has been Japan’s biggest producer for each of the last 13 years.
Mining in the region accounts for more than half of Japan’s coal production, and manufacturing of paper is an important regional industry. The Port of Kushiro’s industry makes much of the newsprint, corrugated cardboard, and other paper products for the entire nation.