The Port of Maizuru lies on the shores of the Sea of Japan on the Maizuru Bay inlet in Kyoto Prefecture. With a wealth of nature, the Port of Maizuru is one of west central Japan’s best natural ports. Before World War II, it was an important naval base and military port. Founded in 1943, almost 90 thousand people called the Port of Maizuru home in 2008.
The Port of Maizuru grew up around a Muromachi period castle that was built in the 15th Century when the town was called Tanabe.
From 1901 until the end of World War II, it was an important naval base. Many Japanese warships were based in the Port of Maizuru during the Russo-Japanese War. After the Second World War, it was a main port for over 660 thousand returning Japanese servicemen and detainees from Asia. Also after the war, commercial activities resumed, and the naval facilities went into industrial use with the production of ships, chemical products, textiles, and pottery. In 1951, Japan’s government listed the Port of Maizuru as a Major Trading Port.
With an excellent natural harbor, the East Port was a naval port after 1901. When a large wharf was completed in 1913, the West Port became the center for commerce and trade in the Sea of Japan.
In 1953, the administration of the harbor became the responsibility of Kyoto Prefecture.
Since that time, the Prefecture has expanded Port of Maizuru functions and services, developing it into a hub port for the Kansai Region. The West Port became the center for international trade, and the East Port focuses on domestic trade.
Today, the Port of Maizuru is a base for Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force. In 1961, it became the first of Russian-Japanese sister towns with Nakhodka, Russia. It is also a Sister City with Portsmouth, England.