Premier Mark McGowan will today tour Kyushu Railway Company’s (JR Kyushu) Western Australian-made jet ferry, the JR Queen Beetle, before travelling on the high-tech and high-speed trimaran boat to South Korea.
Manufactured just south of Freo in Henderson by internationally renowned Austal Ships, the 500 passenger ferry operates between Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea.
Owned and operated by JR Kyushu, the JR Queen Beetle was delivered in September 2020 following its launch from Henderson in April 2020.
After a two year delay due to Covid, the ferry service between Fukuoka and Busan resumed on 4 November 2022.
The JR Queen Beetle was Austal’s first export to Japan since 1997, with 196 employees hired to build the ship in Henderson, including 31 apprentices.
A WA headquartered shipbuilder, defence prime contractor and maritime technology partner, Austal designs, constructs and supports revolutionary defence and commercial vessels for the world’s leading operators.
The Premier is currently leading a 10-day mission to Japan and South Korea to reaffirm the State’s long-standing relationships and promote opportunities for investment, tourism, study and business in WA.
The Premier noted:
“It’s fantastic to see firsthand how Western Australian manufacturing is helping to connect Japan and South Korea.
“Austal have produced a magnificent vessel, supporting almost 200 Western Australian jobs in the process and establishing a new benchmark for passenger comfort on ferries.
“I congratulate JR Kyushu for the successful relaunch and operation of the Fukuoka to Busan route since November.”
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