As the domestic rubber market shrinks, Japan’s rubber manufacturers must step up their global operations, JRMA Chairman and Yokohama Rubber CEO Tadanobu Nagumo said in an interview with Japan Rubber Weekly. He is touting technological innovation and environmental responsiveness as key concepts for the industry, saying that without excelling in these areas, globalization will be prohibitively difficult.
The Japanese Rubber Workers Union Confederation has finalized its official spring 2016 policy to improve the living standards of its membership. The committee approved demands focusing on wages, lump-sum payments, measures to combat excessive work and other issues. With regard to improving wages, the union decided to demand a raise of around 2 percent.
The total value of hose assembly sales during 2015 was 62.562 billion yen, 5 percent less than the previous year, representing a turn to negative territory after an annual increase in 2014, according to the Japan Hose Coupling Association (JHCA). For December alone, overall sales were down more than 10 percent from December of the previous year.
Resin belt production in 2015 was approximately 1.04 million square meters, on a par with the previous period. Demand was stable in the two main segments of food and distribution systems. By product segment, PVC showed a slight increase and polyurethane a slight decrease. All other products showed a double-digit increase.
Japanese rubber belt production in 2015 was around 29,000 tons, marking a 6-percent year-on-year drop to below the 30,000-ton level for the first time in five years, according to statistics compiled by the Japan Belting Manufacturers' Association. Domestic demand held to only a small three-percent decline, but export demand decreased steeply by 15 percent.
NEDO has announced a new synthetic fluororubber material with the world’s highest level of resistance to environmental stress factors. Made by attaching single-wall carbon nanotubes to fluororubber, the material promises to achieve heat resistance on a par with perfluoroelastomer at much lower cost.