Region/Countries: Asia, Japan Industry: Other Date: June 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies to participate in the trend

Japan is a maritime nation flush with scenic coastlines and thus demand for pleasure boats.

Along with the economic recovery, the number of newly registered pleasure boats is rising, according to statistical data presented in "First Periodical Inspection (new ships only)" by the Japan Craft Inspection Organization. Fishing on private boats is an immensely popular hobby, and Yamaha Motors Company, the leading shipbuilder in Japan, has announced that it will start selling a new 27-foot boat equipped with the functions required of a fishing boat.

Among other trends, an aging population means more retirees enjoying their leisure time; demand is rising for replacement of previously owned pleasure boats; and boat acquisition by women is also rising. The number of pleasure boat rental members has doubled in 10 years (18,000 in 2015). In addition, the total shipment value of pleasure boats has increased.

Boat manufacturers will face the challenge of appealing to new customers. Many retirees wish to make use of their spare time by constructing their own boats, creating demand for pleasure boat kits in addition to fully finished boats.

Boat builders also must consider environmental impact, and electric propulsion pleasure boats that reduce noise and water pollution are in especially high demand. High-end pleasure boat rental businesses are another opportunity, and can serve foreign tourists who desire to see Japan’s scenic coastlines.