Japan suffered a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011. The epicenter was off the coast near Sendai, which received massive damage from the earthquake and resulting tsunami. The history and port information reported here on World Port Source is from before the earthquake.
The Port of Sendai is the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, located in northern Honshu, Japan’s largest island, between the Nanakita and Hirose rivers on the Matsushima Bay. The largest commercial center of the T?hoku Region, it is the regional center for Japan’s federal agencies.
The Port of Sendai has only a few manufacturers whose wares (like the kokeshi wooden dolls) are mainly for local consumers. Primary agricultural produce is rice and fruit. Due to massive reconstruction after World War II, the Port of Sendai more parks than many other Japanese cities. In 2005, over a million people lived in the Port of Sendai.
The area surrounding the Port of Sendai was inhabited as long as 20 thousand years ago, but the city was founded in 1600 when the daimyo Date Musamune moved there from Iwadeyama. The Tokugawa Shogunate permitted Masamune to build a castle in Sendai after the Battle of Sekigahara. The word “Sendai” means “a thousand generations,” and a temple with a thousand Buddha statues used to be located in the city. Construction of Sendai Castle began in 1600, and building of the town on a grid plan followed in 1601.
The city of Sendai was incorporated in 1889 when the han system was abolished. At that time, about 86 thousand people lived in the Port of Sendai. From 1928 to 1988, the city grew through annexation. By 1999, the population was over a million. Before World War II, the Port of Sendai was known as the City of Trees. Many homes, shrines, and temples had yashikirin (household forests) that were used for wood and common materials. Unfortunately, World War II air raids destroyed much of the trees, and reconstruction and development after the war destroyed even more. Today, the city is working to restore its greenery.
In 1964, the Port of Sendai was recognized as one of Japan’s New Industrial Cities, and construction of the waterways, breakwaters, and facilities began in 1967. In 1971, the first ship entered the Port of Sendai, and the Sendai Coastal Railway opened, linking the port oil industry facilities with the Tohoku Main Line. In 1973, the Port Council decided to build a public wharf, a wharf for ferries, and berths and to develop the Port of Sendai for general use. The ferry service between Sendai, Nagoya, and Tomakomai began that year.
In 1979, the back area of the Nakano Wharves was designated for bonded warehousing, and the Port Council planned to add offshore breakwaters and berths. In 1896, the council formed the Port of Sendai Development Plan to develop port facilities for international trade.
In 1990, a new container service began to operate between the Port of Sendai and the Ohi Container Terminal at Tokyo. In 1991, the Miyagi Prefecture warehouse at the Nakano Wharf was finished. The Port of Sendai’s Central Park was opened in 1992. In 1995, container traffic between the Port of Sendai and East Asia began.
The Port of Sendai was designated a Foreign Access Zone (FAZ), and the Miyagi Exhibition Center was opened. In 1996, the Takasago Container Terminal began operations, and regular container shipping to North America began the following year. In 1998, a feeder container service between the Port of Sendai and the Daikoku and Honmoku Container Terminal in Yokohama was initiated. Feeder container services to the Aomi Container Terminal in Tokyo began in 1999, and the Port of Sendai International Business Support Center (Accel) opened. In 2000, regular container services with Korea began operating.
In 2001, Shiogama Port (which includes the Port of Sendai) was made a special designated Major Port with the name Sendai-Shiogama Port. In the same year, the Takasago Container Terminal expansion was completed. In 2002, regular container shipping services to China and Korea began, and a feeder container service with Shimizu, Shizuoka, was started. In 2004, the Port of Sendai International Commerce Port Physical Distribution Terminal opened.
The modern Port of Sendai is the T?hoku region economy’s center as well as the base for regional transportation and logistics. The city’s economy is primarily in retail and service sectors. Few major companies headquarter in the Port of Sendai, but there are many branch offices. The city is working to attract high-tech companies through Tohoku University.