Friday, December 16, 2011

Japanese Freight Container Line Wins Cruise Ship Award for Humanitarian Effort

Praise for MOL After Their Support Following Japanese Disasters
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – Regular readers will know that Mitsui OSK Line (MOL)try to do more than most when hardship strikes a community, their assistance during the recent Thai floods being a good example. Assistance with the horrors which followed the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami was almost expected therefore when the disasters occurred on home turf for the company known best for container freight carriage was itself directly affected last April.

MOL were lauded at the time for the contributions from their staff which, added to the groups own ¥50 million donation meant a sum equivalent to almost $700,000 was raised to aid victims and their families. Unusually for us, as a cargo and freight logistics oriented publication, we felt obliged to mention the outstanding contribution made by one of MOL’s cruise liners the Fuji Maru which undertook a support cruise calling at Ofunato, Kamaishi, and Miyako ports for a week from Monday, April 11 to Sunday April 17. At each port, local citizens came on board the ship and enjoyed freshly prepared meals, a large Japanese-style bath, and rest in private passenger cabins. A total of 4,451 people visited the ship during its calls.

Now the vessel's contribution to the relief effort has been recognised with the Cruise of the Year 2011 award sponsored by the Japan Oceangoing Passenger Ship Association. The award ceremony was held at the Kaiun Building on Wednesday, 14th December. A memento was given to executives from MOL, which planned the cruise aimed at supporting the afflicted communities, and Fuji Maru Captain Keiji Kan and crew members who were honoured by comments from those they had aided.

MOL President Muto said the comments received from those afflicted by the disaster would inspire the group to further help with reconstruction of the stricken areas using the MOL network and he thanked everyone involved at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Iwate Prefecture, and municipalities for their assistance in ensuring the cruise ship could attend to the victims needs immediately.