Japanese corporate giants trial cross-border blockchain technology

A group comprising some of the largest corporations in Japan including Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) are carrying out a demonstration test this month to verify the applicability of blockchain technology as a way to streamline and upgrade cross-border trade operations. MOL is joined by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the Japan Research Institute, Mitsui & Co, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and IBM Japan in carrying out the research.

In the demonstration test, participating companies input information of real trade transactions using a blockchain-based application, by which a wide variety of documents, including trade agreements and logistics/insurance documents are digitised, recorded and shared among participants.

“By comparing against current operations, the test is intended to verify the effectiveness of blockchain technology for enhancing security and reducing the time required to settle cross-border trade transactions, discrepancies among related documents and administrative costs. Further, looking to commercialization, the technology will be evaluated for its viability in cross-border trade business operations,” MOL stated in a release today.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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