TOKYO - Japan Airlines Co. and Japan Post Co. said Tuesday they will jointly start a door-to-door express delivery service for fresh food, including fruit and fishery products from Japan, to Singapore and Taiwan using special cool boxes.
The move comes as demand for Japanese food is growing in Asia in line with the rise in the number of visitors to the country, backed by economic expansion in the region. It will also facilitate Japan's farming and fishery industries in supplying their products to individual homes, the two companies said.
They will operate the service from April to March next year on a trial basis, with two post offices in Hokkaido and Kanagawa prefectures collecting shipments. The companies aim to expand the service to other parts of Asia including Hong Kong, Shanghai and South Korea, they said.
The cool boxes developed by JAL will be used to preserve products at 2 to 10 C for 72 to 80 hours, enabling express delivery of food products such as melons, crabs, sashimi and cheese.
The delivery service will be priced from 7,000 yen to 24,600 yen for products up to 15 kilograms, they said.
"Though home delivery of cold foods is common in Japan, it is not widespread overseas," said Japan Post President Shinichi Nabeshima at a news conference in Tokyo. "There is a growing need among people who visited Japan from Asian countries to bring home food items as souvenirs and place orders after they go home."
JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki said, "The new service, utilizing our cooling technology and Japan Post's EMS (express mail service), will provide greater convenience and speed."