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

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About JEHDRA

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

President

 Since its founding in 2005, the Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency (hereinafter referred to as the “Agency”) has been providing support for the expansion of the expressway service, which is one of the industrial and consumer lifestyle infrastructures of Japan, as well as the substantiation of its maintenance, while taking charge of debt management and asset management through the procurement of funds and repayments of debts to support such activities.

 In October last year the Agency entered its 16th year since its founding, with steady progress made in the improvement of expressways and the extension of roads that grew from a total span of 8,948 km at the time the Agency was founded to 10,357 km, as of FY2020. The scale of debt repayments continued at a level of approximately four trillion yen during this period until the first half of the 2010s, although this transitioned into the lower three trillion yen level by the second half of the same decade. The scale of fund procurement, on the other hand, decreased from a three trillion yen level, in the latter part of the 2000s, to about a two trillion level in the 2010s. The burden of interest payments reduced from about 600 billion yen at the start to about 300 billion yen during this period as well, effectively halving due to the decrease in the balance of remaining debt.

 A total of 680 bonds were issued during this period, to expand the investor population through continued communication with the market, as work progressed to diversify fund procurement periods and the issuing of lump-sum bonds for smoother fund procurements. Utilizing the continuing low interest environment, as well as reducing the risk of interest payments in the future and devising creative means through continued communications in the market, we have been issuing bonds with diverse procurement periods and lump-sum payments for long and super-long-term periods.

 On the other hand, while possessing expressway assets and leasing them to six expressway companies (hereinafter referred to as the “Company” or “Companies”), the Agency has been making considerations for sufficient maintenance and improvements to the service levels of expressways, which includes safety, while taking action to ensure reliable debt repayments in the future, through revenue from the leases of such assets. This enabled the Agency to reduce the debt balance generally by a little under 10 trillion yen, since the founding of the Agency, although this trend varied depending on the year.

 We anticipate seeing a rise in the uncertainties for the future management environment that is different from the occurrence of such pandemics as the novel coronavirus or the increasingly greater scale of natural disasters, the advancement of globalization or progress with IT implementations. In relation to this, we predict greater volatility in the trend of financial markets, unlike the consistent low interest environment of the past. We also anticipate a change from the phase of a relaxed monetary policy, which lasted a long time, to one of an exit strategy. Amidst such circumstances we recognize that the way we maintain ingenious debt management, with cash flow management at the core, will be our biggest management issue.

 The importance of the role expressways play in the economy and society of Japan will continue to increase even more in the future, as globalization and IT implementations progress, natural disasters and pandemics 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 will lead to the personnel of the Agency forming an organization of professionals in road and financial work, thereby providing safe and highly convenient expressway services to the public, reducing the burden of expenses on citizens, while continuing to do so at appropriate prices.

Masaru Takamatsu

President,
Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency