Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.

One of Okinawa’s major foundation construction specialists

A day on site
February 2015

Cranes and those operating them

We talked to the executive managing director of Kinjyo Juki,
a prominent foundation builder in Okinawa, and to one of the crane operators.

Managing Director Kinjo Juki Co., Ltd. Mr. Yukinao Tomoyori Mr. Yukinao Tomoyori
Managing Director
Kinjo Juki Co., Ltd.

Work sites face natural environments found only in Okinawa

Mr. Tomoyori says that, surrounded on four sides by ocean, the peculiar ground conditions at work sites on Okinawa create a work environment distinct from any on Japan’s main islands.

“Here in Okinawa, limestone mixed with coral makes the ground much harder than anything on the main islands. Okinawa is surrounded by oceans, so the salty sea breezes cause cranes to begin rusting after only a year or two on the job. Of course, we take measures to prevent that from happening.”

Kinjo Juki does foundation work in Okinawa’s very tough ground conditions, and has aggressively developed some unique technologies and processes that set the company apart. Its preventive maintenance on cranes and other equipment is the key to the company’s excellent track record.

We asked Mr. Tomoyori which work site stood out in his memory among the many he worked on in his long career in Okinawa. “Even now, we continue to build protective levees on the Daito Islands once or twice a year. That project should last another five or six years. The unusual weather we’ve had lately seems to have caused a rise in sea levels, so we are working to raise the height of harbor facilities, but the ground on the Daito Islands is even harder than on the main islands, so it’s a tough job overall. The waves there are really powerful, and sometimes damage the harbors in some places. Of course, that means additional work to rebuild the damaged areas.”

Even though the Daito Islands conjure up an image of solitary specks in a faraway ocean, Mr. Tomoyori and his staff work tirelessly to ensure vital infrastructure for island residents. Kinjo Juki’s personnel range in age from 24 to 56 and these professionals come from all over Okinawa to sweat and toil at work sites. In recent years, company employees and their families have enjoyed bowling tournaments and barbecues as part of their recreational exchange activities. The company also sponsors parties where the employees can have a few drinks, let their hair down, and not be stifled by customary senior/junior rules and enjoy a free flow of communication. Of course, at parties in Okinawa, local awamori liquor is a must.


“I only sip a little (laughs) but Okinawans drink a lot. Many Okinawans are not so good at expressing themselves, but after a drink or two, they’ll often get down to what’s really important. While drinking, the younger people will speak up and talk about many things, which can then relate to better work. Unlike before, today’s young people won’t follow along if they are held down from above, so we’ve started company-wide initiatives to create a corporate culture where everyone has a chance to speak frankly and communicate with everyone else.”