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Linking Japan and South-East Asia! - the new “SJC” submarine cable

On November 19, 2012, I went to Minamiboso City, Chiba Prefecture, to see the site where the "cable landing" was carried out to land the submarine cable at the cable landing station.

  • MitaIt's six o'clock in the morning. They start work so early in the morning.
  • MiwaI was a little worried about the wind, but they are going to do the "cable landing" as planned. As the project manager, I was relieved to hear that the landing will take place today, as scheduled.
  • MitaI'm sorry to bother you when you're busy, but could you explain to me about this "cable landing" work?
  • MiwaA cable landing is to bring up the submarine cable and bring it inside the cable landing station. After the cable landing, we start the work of laying the submarine cable in the ocean. Usually, you cannot see the submarine cable as it is laid on the ocean floor. During this cable landing work, though, people other than the technical workers and seamen can see the submarine cable. So a ceremony is sometimes held during the cable landing, with the participation of government officials and top executives.
  • MitaA ceremony?
  • MiwaYes. When we did the landing in the Philippines and Maldives, the presidents of those countries attended our ceremonies.
  • MitaPresidents! So it's a big event at a national level.
  • MiwaThat differs from country to country, but the landing is certainly one of the main events of a submarine cable project. It's the beginning of our work of installing and laying the submarine cable, so we are very excited.
  • MitaOh, now we see a ship out at sea. Is that the cable ship?
  • MiwaYes. That's the cable ship we saw in Kitakyushu last week. They're going to feed the submarine cable out from there to the beach, with buoys attached to the cable to keep it afloat. The submarine cable is meant to be laid on the ocean floor. But, during the landing, we pull the cable to the land while keeping it afloat with buoys, because we don't want to cause damage to the cable by dragging it on the seafloor surface. After pulling in the cable up on land, we remove the buoys and let the cable sink.

Photo:The submarine cable is being fed out from the ship, with yellow buoys attached.The submarine cable is being fed out from the ship, with yellow buoys attached.

  • MitaHere it comes! I see a string of buoys floating in the waves.
  • MiwaNow we are going to pull the rope tied to the submarine cable from the beach using a hoisting machine.
  • MitaIt's past eight o'clock. They have just pulled up the submarine cable onto the beach! Oh, I see a bottle of champagne in the first buoy. Mr. Miwa, can I talk to you for a minute? What is that bottle of champagne for?
  • MiwaThe champagne is a gift from the captain of the cable ship. We'll pour some champagne onto the tip of the submarine cable to celebrate the landing of the cable and pray for a successful installation.

The champagne brought from the ship is poured onto the tip of the submarine cable to pray for a successful installation.

  • MitaThis is touching.It almost makes me cry in joy.
  • MiwaThis project started in earnest in April 2011. Looking back on all the preparations we have made since then, I am filled with deep emotion.
  • MitaBy the way, the tip of the landed cable will be connected to communications equipment somewhere, right?
  • MiwaYes. Through an underground tunnel, we'll pull the cable into a cable landing station in which we have communications facilities set up. And we'll connect the cable to an optical transmission equipment.
  • MitaI see. The submarine cable that you landed a short while ago will be laid on the ocean floor from here all the way to Singapore, right? That makes me realize anew how big this project is. Mr. Miwa, thank you for taking the time for us from your busy schedule.
  • MiwaYou're welcome. It was nice that you came with us to Kitakyushu and Minamiboso and listened to me talk about the project. Thank you for having me on your program.

In the nineth installment of our program, we have brought to you our special report on the new submarine cable named "SJC," which will link South-East Asia and Japan. How did you like it? This SJC cable is now being installed in the Asian seas region and will be completed by mid-2013. When the cable is completed, remember what Mr. Miwa said. That may make you see the Internet and communications from a different perspective than in the past.

See you in the next installment of "MiTA TV"!

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