Yamato already offers express home delivery to South east Asia and companies including major cosmetics brands are increasingly using its services for business-to-business shipping.
The new warehouse near Naha Airport is reported to permit late-night air traffic and runs customs services around the clock.
According to regional publication, Nikkei Asian review, the new facility is nine times the size of a nearby building Yamato has leased since 2013 and the investment in this center is in anticipation of stronger international shipping demand when the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact takes effect.
It also reports that cosmetics players, Sunstar and Hoshi will establish themselves in this new Yamato building as they view it as an ideal hub for Asian exports as well as distribution within Japan.
Japan invests in 'hubs' to speed up AP import/export process
A group named the Japan Cosmetic Center has also recently been established in Karatsu in an effort to build a cosmetics industry hub that will replicate the French industrial center which will take strength from its strategic location.
Honorary president of Cosmetic Valley, Alban Muller is reported to have taken note of Karatsu’s easy access to Asia as currently cosmetics are exported from France to the likes of China and South Korea via Hong Kong, a shipping process that can take up to 40 days.
The city is based on the coast with access to the Eastern Chinese and Japanese sea so to have a hub based there would really cut shipping costs and significantly lower shipping / transport times.
'A win-win situation'
According to the Japanese Times, there is also a neighboring town that grows herbs that can be used for cosmetics, which is also getting Muller’s attention.
The project is also said to be appealing to Karatsu itself and if it becomes a reality, cosmetics companies will create new jobs and boost tax revenues. “It will be a win-win situation,” a city official said.
"The local economy is currently dependent on businesses related to the Genkai nuclear power plant, which has been idled since the Fukushima nuclear crisis started," the publication stated.