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JEHDRA - Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency | HOME (President's Message)

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JEHDRA (Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency) aims to reduce people’s burden relating to expressways and support successfulimplementations of the expressway business of the Companies ( East Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO East) , Central Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO Central) , West Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (NEXCO West) , Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd. , Hanshin Expressway Co., Ltd. and Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co., Ltd. (HSBE) ) , by holding and leasing expressway assets and repaying debts rapidly and reliably.

President's Message


 Since its founding in 2005, the Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency (hereinafter “Agency”) has been providing support for the expansion and maintenance of expressway services, one of the infrastructures essential to the industry and lifestyle of Japan, while also holding responsibility for asset and debt management through the procurement of funds and repayment on debts that support these activities.

 In October 2023, the Agency entered the 18th year since its founding, with steady progress being made in the construction of expressways, as well as the extension of roads in service, which have grown from a total span of 8,948 km at the time the Agency’s was founded to 10,405 km, as of the end of FY2022. During this period, the scale of debt repayments remained at about 4 trillion yen until the early 2010s and transitioned to around 3.5 trillion yen in the 2020s. The scale of fund procurement, on the other hand, decreased from a 3 trillion yen range in the latter part of the 2000s, to a level of about 1 trillion yen in the 2020s. Furthermore, the annual burden of interest payments declined from about 600 billion yen at the start to about 300 billion yen during this period as well, effectively halving due to a decrease in the balance of outstanding debt.

 A total of approximately 730 bonds have been issued to date and have worked to broaden our investor base through continued communication with the market, while we have also diversified the procurement periods by issuing long-term and super-long-term bonds to alleviate the risk of interest rate increases in the future as much as possible and issued social bonds for smoother fund procurements.

 On the other hand, while possessing expressway assets and leasing them to expressway companies, the Agency has been making thorough considerations for the maintenance and improvement of comfort and safety in the service levels of our expressways, while at the same time taking action to ensure reliable debt repayments in the future through revenue from the leases of such assets. This enabled the Agency to generally reduce the debt balance by a little under 10 trillion yen since the founding of the Agency, though this trend varied from year to year.

 In the future, we anticipate a growing level of uncertainty in the business environment, which will manifest itself in novel ways, such as changes in international affairs and increases in the severity and frequency of natural disasters. Accordingly, we predict greater volatility in the financial markets, unlike the consistently low-interest-rate environment of the past. We also foresee a change from the period of monetary easing in Japan, which has lasted a long time, to a new era in which an exit strategy is implemented. Given these circumstances, we recognize that our most significant management challenge revolves around the skillful management of our debt, with a focus on cash flow management. Moreover, maintaining expressway functions into the future requires renewal projects aimed at radical transformation to restore high functionality, and evolution and improvements based on society’s demands for enhanced national resilience. In 2023, amendments were made to the Act on Special Measures Concerning Road Construction and Improvement and the Act on the Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency, Independent Administrative Agency, which have now come into effect. In future, securing the necessary financial resources will enable us to work with the national government and the expressway companies to reinforce the appropriate management and functions of our expressways.

 The importance of the role expressways play in the economy and society of Japan will continue to grow even more in the future, as globalization and the implementation of IT progress, natural disasters occur, and other such social risks increase in scale. The Agency will promote the formulation and execution of action plans that focus on activities intended to resolve operational issues and proceed with personnel development that leads to forming an organization of professionals in road and financial work, thereby providing safe and highly convenient expressway services to the public and reducing the burden of expenses on citizens, while continuing to do so at appropriate prices.

Masaru Takamatsu

Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency