MOL initiatives in East Asia, South East Asia and Oceania Areas (Part 2): Interview with Senior Managing Executive Officer

  • General Shipping


Mr. Nobuo Shiotsu, who has spent his career focusing on the dry bulk business, is now in charge of the East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania regions as Senior Managing Executive Officer. In the first part of this blog, we asked him about the Southeast Asia and Oceania regions and how he sees the future in terms of business expansion. In this part two blog , we interviewed Mr. Shiotsu about his activities in East Asia, mainly China. 

[East Asia]
A strong partner with a multifaceted relationship

--- How does the East Asia region position itself for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines? 


  • The Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Group's corporate management plan, BLUE ACTION 2035, divides the world into 6 groups and defines regional strategies. The East Asia region is one of these, and it is definitely an important area that is essential for the business of our company. It comprises China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea, all of which have active exchanges with Japan and close cultural backgrounds. Therefore, we want to develop regional and corporate activities on both axes, keeping our company's ambitions in mind and promoting exchanges.

--- What is your existing business in East Asia? 


  • East Asia has experienced explosive economic growth over 20 to 30 years. In China in particular, our company has expanded its business mainly by importing iron ore, while energy transportation such as crude oil and LNG also accounts for a large share of our business there. There is also a lot of transportation related to automobiles, and in recent years exports of advanced products such as electric vehicles have been active. Recently, in the context of global trends, decarbonization is gaining momentum in East Asia. For example, we will use our company's technological capabilities in our iron ore-related businesses to further strengthen our deep ties with customers by contributing to CO2 reduction in each country. 

a vessel for Every Need Supporting  Everyday Life and Industries Around the World


  • Another major feature that distinguishes us from other regions is our collaboration in the shipbuilding industry. I am not only highly interested in Japan’s shipbuilding industry, but also those of Korea and China, which have put great efforts into developing their shipbuilding industry. Along with the Technical Division and the Sales Division of the Tokyo Head Office, members of our organizations in Korea and China are working together with local partners to build higher-quality vessels. Many of the large bulkers, tankers, LNG carriers, and other vessels used in our company today are made in Korea and China. 

total vessel delivers by region(DWT)

"Cryo-Powered Regas" System for FSRU
by MOL and Hanwha Ocean(previously known as DSME)

Explore new business possibilities,
including offshore wind power generation

--- what about new non-shipping businesses? 


  • We are actively developing new businesses that are derived from existing businesses and that conform to the aims of BLUE ACTION 2035. 
  • One example is offshore wind power in Taiwan. The first Service Operation Vessel (SOV) in Asia, which was newly built in partnership with a Taiwanese shipping company, is engaged in supporting the maintenance of Taiwan's largest offshore wind farm, Daecheung Hua. We are also making upstream investments in offshore wind power generation in cooperation with domestic companies such as Hokuriku Electric Power and Toho Gas. 

Sea Trial performed of “Asia’s 1st New Built SOV”
for Greater Changhua Wind Farms in Taiwan

  • Offshore wind power is an area that has recently attracted attention in South Korea. South Korea announced its Green New Deal plan in 2019 and expects to develop 21.6% of its power supply, including 14.3 GW of offshore wind capacity, by 2030. Our company hopes to find business opportunities there and is closely monitoring developments. 
  • In Hong Kong, our company’s Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) launched its first LNG import terminal in July this year. In Hong Kong, it was difficult to import LNG because of the dense urban area and consequential lack of land development space for industrial land, but the combination of offshore base construction and FSRU made it possible for them to accept LNG. This will significantly increase the ratio of gas-fired power generation with low CO2 emissions, and contribute to decarbonization. 
  • Related Press Release:

  • Also in Hong Kong we are making efforts to expand sales of MOL COILPORTER ®, a revolutionary steel coil transport cradle (securing system). In order to transport large coiled steel materials with an outer diameter of more than 1 m and a weight of more than 10 tons in marine containers, we have developed specialized transport materials that anyone can easily assemble. It is an eco-friendly product made of expanded polyethylene that can be reused and is attracting attention from both Japan and overseas.

Reaching out to inbound demand and penetrate management plans

MOL Senior Managing Executive Officer,  Nobuo Shiotsu

--- What are your prospects in East Asia? 


  • In April 2023, the Wellbeing & Lifestyle Business Management Division was launched with the responsibility of upgrading the Real Estate, Ferry, and Cruise Businesses. With the launch of the Seabourn Odyssey, the second largest cruise ship after the Nippon Maru, we are expanding our luxury cruise line. In the cruise business and ferry business, we place importance on people from Southeast Asia and East Asia as targets for domestic tourism and will provide support in areas such as marketing, focusing on the regions for which we are responsible.  

    I currently have my main base in Singapore, but once a month I try to visit East Asia Region such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. We actively hold dialogues about BLUE ACTION 2035 with national staff, and make efforts to deepen our understanding of BLUE ACTION by, at times, having the president attend these meetings. 

actively hold dialogues about BLUE ACTION 2035 with national staff,

 Blue Action 2035 with Hashimoto CEO, Shiotsu SMEO and MOL China staffs
  • It is also important to cultivate and develop human resources. MOL brand organizations in each region are attracting highly talented people, so we will develop systems to create opportunities for them to play an active role and create an environment where they can utilize their abilities to the full. In this regard, the Human Capital Strategy Division (HCSD), which was established in January 2023, takes the lead in developing human resources in Japan and overseas. 
  •  cultivate and develop human resources in MOL

 Integrate into the community with a sense of humility and as a global citizen

--- Is there anything you have in mind when working abroad? 


  • This is my third overseas assignment following stints in North America and Latin America. What I feel is important is to have a humble attitude for being allowed to live and work in my host country. It is too easy to impose the way things are done in Japan and make comparisons, but when you are in Rome, you should do as Rome does. By actively participating in local communities, we are diving into local networks and creating flat relationships with local people. My wife sometimes says to me, "What is your nationality?" and I reply "I'm a global citizen". 
  • Also, I try to use my holidays to actively learn about the areas I am in. I make time to go on trips with my wife and experience the history and culture firsthand. Recently, I have traveled to the Straits of Malacca in Malaysia, the Ayutthaya Ruins and Phuket in Thailand, and Da Nang in Vietnam. This not only refreshes me but gives me useful insights when it comes to my work and local societies. Singapore, where we are located, is an attractive base as it gives easy access to many locations across Asia. 

 By actively participating in local communities, we are diving into local networks and creating flat relationships with local people

  • In Asia, I have never felt any inconvenience in my daily life, including eating habits. I would like to contribute to the further development of the region through my work while enjoying my precious and rewarding expatriate life. 

MOL Senior Managing Executive Officer,  Nobuo Shiotsu■Profile
Senior Managing Executive Officer
MOL (Asia Oceania) Pte. Ltd. Managing Director, MOL Treasury Management Pte. Ltd. Managing Director Commissioned


Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in June 1963, in 1986, Nobuo Shiotsu graduated from the Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Keio University, and joined Osaka Shosen Kaisha Lines (present-day Mitsui O.S.K. Lines). In 2023, he became Senior Managing Executive Officer in charge of the East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania regions.

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