Tōkai Kisen

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Seven Islands/Tomo (Friend) Jetfoil, a hydrofoil

Tōkai Kisen (Japanese: 東海汽船) is a shipping company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Its main business is freight and passenger transportation between the main island of Honshu and the Izu Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The company is listed on the Second Floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

In general[edit]

Tōkai Kisen started its shipping business in 1889 as Tōkyo Bay Ships (Japanese: 東京湾汽船), combining four smaller shipping businesses, with twenty one ships and a total of 1.616 gross tons. In the following year, it was established as an incorporated company.

It soon added Hokkaido and Northeast Japan businesses, but later abandoned them. In 1942, it changed its name to the current name, Tōkai Kisen (Japanese: 東海汽船), which means East Sea Ships.

During the financially difficult time right after the Second World War, the company accepted investment from Fujita Kanko (Japanese: 藤田観光), one of the leaders in the hospitality industry, which has remained its largest shareholder with twenty percent of the company stock. It soon followed its expansion plans.

In 1969, Tōkai Kisen established Ogasawara Ocean Transport (Japanese: 小笠原海運), a joint business with Kinkai Yusen, but now a Nippon Yusen's sibsidiary. In 1981, it established Seven-Islands-of-Izu Ocean Transport (Japanese: 伊豆七島海運). In 1988, Tokyo Vingt-et-Un Cruise (Japanese: 東京ヴァンテアンクルーズ) was added to the group. In 2003, it bought Ōshima Passenger Cars (Japanese: 大島旅客自動車), mainly a bus operator on Izu Ōshima.

Since 2003, the company has put a few high-speed Jetfoils into service for ferrying passengers to and from the Izu Islands[1]. It also operates the Oshima Hot Spring Hotel (Japanese: 大島温泉ホテル) on Izu Oshima[2].

In December 1986, Tōkai Kisen helped the evacuation of all residents of Izu Ōshima during the large-scale volcanic eruption of Mount Mihara, cancelling the company's all other lines.

The company is listed on the Second Floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1949.

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