After 135 Years, NYK Appoints its First Hawsepiper Captain

Akihiro Mori (NYK)

Published Apr 10, 2020 3:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

For the first time in its 135 years of history, Japanese shipping line NYK has appointed a captain who did not begin his career at a maritime academy. 

The appointee, Akihiro Mori, has a four-year degree from an ordinary university, and he joined NYK through the company's internal officer training program. In 2006, NYK became the first shipping company in Japan to hire college graduates for in-house training for seagoing positions. These cadets receive two years of education and onboard training in order to obtain merchant mariners' licenses. After this point, they gain progressively more experience as deck officers and engineers aboard NYK's vessels. Mori was a member of NYK's inaugural class, and he is the first participant to be promoted to the rank of captain.

During his career at NYK, Mori has served as an officer on car carriers, LNG carriers and dry bulk carriers. He also deployed his experience in shoreside roles at NYK's head office. Last year, he obtained the seafarer’s license of 1st grade maritime officer, and NYK appointed him to the rank of captain on April 1. 

However, Mori will not sail as a master for several years, NYK said, as he will be stationed at the home office. 

NYK launched its own training program in order to diversify its recruitment pipeline for maritime personnel, and it says that today the program accounts for almost half of its new mariner hires. 100 out of its 600 Japanese seafarers began their careers in the program. 


"Since more onboard expertise and diversity are required of seafarers at the forefront when NYK enters new businesses such as offshore businesses and offshore wind-power generation businesses, we will continue to secure and foster excellent Japanese seafarers to improve our competitiveness.”