The increase in terms of the international standard of 20-feet containers was apparently attributable to activating distributions with China and Southeast Asian countries with robust economies, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
However, the combined number of containers handled at six ports in the Tohoku and northern Kanto regions on the Pacific coast damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami plunged 67 percent to 59,000 as piers were temporarily unavailable due to the disaster.
Among them, the number of containers decreased 74 percent to 31,000 at Sendai-Shiogama Port in Miyagi Prefecture and dropped 79 percent to 4,000 at Onahama Port in Fukushima Prefecture.
On the contrary, the number of containers handled at ports through substitute routes on the Sea of Japan coast increased, with a 90 percent rise to 13,000 in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, a 27 percent rise to 62,000 in Akita and a 22 percent rise to 198,000 in Niigata.
Among the 66 ports across the country, Tokyo ranked top in the number of containers handled with 4,144,000, followed by Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe.