NIPPON Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) will start container operations between Japan and Shanghai from mid-April. Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) will follow with a Japan-Shanghai container service in May. The Japan-China container trade is growing rapidly, reflecting China's economic development, with the volume of container cargo liftings in the trade posting nearly 30 per cent increase last year. NYK Line's opening of the Japan-China route is intended not only to respond to rapid growth, but also to independently provide feeder services to link China with its line-haul operations on the North America and Europe trades. Initially, NYK Line will provide weekly fixed-day services with two container ships. Later, its ships on the Honolulu service also will call at Shanghai. MOL will have its ships in east coast of South America service extend their loop to Shanghai to provide a monthly service between Japan and Shanghai. MOL has applied to China's Ministry of Communication for permission to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai.