Yukito Higaki, president of Japan’s largest yard group, Imabari Shipbuilding, has warned that the shipbuilding industry may not be able to ramp up capacity to meet future demand.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Higaki said Japan’s shipbuilding industry, in common with South Korea and China, is struggling with a labour shortage.

“The huge volume of ships constructed in 2011 will start to come up for replacement from 2026 onwards, but the world shipbuilding industry has fallen into a position where, because of a shortage of labour, it cannot raise production,” Higaki said.