Mitsui E&S and Tsuneishi to join forces

Another Japanese shipbuilding tie-up is on the cards. Local business newswire Nikkei reports that Mitsui E&S Holdings is in talks with compatriot Tsuneishi Holdings to form a shipbuilding joint venture that would create the second largest shipyard group in the country after Imabari and Japan Marine United who are also in advanced negotiations over their own merger.

For the last two years, Mitsui E&S and Tsuneishi have had an operational tie-up involving ship design and parts procurement.

Japanese shipbuilding has been forced into greater collaboration as the industry faces being squeezed out of business by cheaper rivals in South Korea and China.

Elsewhere, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is in negotiations to sell off its Koyagi plant in Nagasaki to Oshima Shipbuilding.

Japan’s global market share, measured by the amount of shipbuilding orders, dropped to 16% in 2019 from 32% in 2015.

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.


  1. A sensible arrangement. Mitsui have a reputation for being somewhat conservative in their approach to shipbuilding; Tsuneishi, less so. Could be good.

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