New China-Japan ferry service links Shanghai with Osaka and Kobe

   June 10, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

A newbuild ferry started revenue operations on Saturday, June 8th, establishing a maritime link between China (Shanghai) and the Japanese port cities Osaka and Kobe.

The CMI Jinling Weihai-built Ro-Pax ship Jian Zhen Hao (IMO 9987677) is China-flagged (MMSI 413581560) and departed from Shanghai for Osaka on its launch day.

This third-generation ferry is named after the Chinese Buddhist monk Jianzhen (known as Ganjin in Japan) who traveled to Japan in the 8th century to propagate Buddhism.

The first-generation vessel began service in 1985, catering to the growing demand for both passenger travel and freight/wheeled cargo transport between Japan and China. The second-generation ferry entered service in 1994.

Currently, only freight transport (Ro-Ro shipping) services are operational, as passenger shipping remain suspended due to the COVID crisis. Passenger services are anticipated to resume in September this year.

At a launch event for the new ship, Shuichi Akamatsu (Japan's consul-general in Shanghai) said they hoped that the new ferry would play its role as a bridge between the two countries as its predecessors did.