As Japan is an island nation, it is hugely dependant on the sea. It is also one of the world’s great maritime traders thanks to its reliable and efficient shipping, advanced engineering capacity, and its top-quality maritime research. The top three global shipping companies, K Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and MOL, are all from Japan. The sector remains a high-cost economy but the sophistication and high quality of Japanese shipyards have ensured their status as the most competitive in the world. The most enduring obstacle for Japan’s maritime sector is its ageing workforce. Despite heavy government promotion, fewer young Japanese are opting for a maritime career, as a result of which foreigners comprise most of the people working in Japanese fleets. To ensure service quality, they are trained in establishments controlled by the companies themselves.