Tokyo port authorities will exempt vessels from port and berthing charges if they enter for loading or unloading cargo on Sundays.
The new policy, expected to be implemented soon, will be Japan's first attempt to establish a permanent, 24-hour, 365-day-a-year service.
'The Tokyo port has embarked on this action plan because it found that only 90 out of the 3,500 vessels which entered port carried out unloading or loading work on Sundays due to the comparatively high charges,' a source said.
The port authority also has reduced Sunday cargo-handling charges as much as possible.
If the 90 vessels which did enter port for unloading or loading work on Sunday had been exempted from port and berthing charges last year, the port authority would have registered a 10 million yen (about HK$646,809) loss, it said.
The authority said expansion work on the Oh-i container terminal would be completed in 2003 to enable the port to meet the expected growth in container throughput.
Meanwhile a new public terminal would be built at the existing Aomi container terminal, with jetties planned for completion in 2001, it said.
WONG JOON SAN