Koji Tominaga, 2019 Hall of Honor Recipient
Koji Tominaga was born on November 28, 1938 to Mr. Tsunetaro Tominaga and Mrs. Shizu Tominaga. Mr. Tominaga had a fishing business, but when he passed away in 1942, his wife succeeded him in running it. After WWII, the fishing industry was highly important in Japan, and business was good. Mrs. Tominaga was concerned that the fishing business lacked stability, however, and worked to diversify her company.
She founded Fukuoka Soko (Warehousing) Co, LTD in October of 1948 in Fukuoka, Japan. Its main business was a domestic logistics service. Fukuoka Soko started in the military household goods moving business as an agent for AIC, an Asiatic Forwarder Inc. entity, in July 1959. Koji Tominaga joined the business while in college, and when finished he was inducted as the president of Fukuoka Soko. His youthful vigor was the main impetus for the company’s subsequent growth. He quickly spread his company network to cover all of Japan.
Fukuoka (aka ltazuke) is a city in the northern part of the island of Kyushu where the bases of Itazuke AFB and Brady AFB were located. Those bases began closing in the latter part of 1963 and into 1964. When a large number of the families were relocated to bases in the Tokyo area under an Intra Japan rate filing, Fukuoka Soko handled hundreds of shipments that strained the capacity of the receiving warehouses.
In 1964, Tominaga opened an office for his logistics division at Atsugi Naval Air Station in the JA-01 area just north of Yokohama. Because of the Vietnam War, Tominaga believed that the American military in Japan would need not only moving services but also logistics services. He purchased the local agent at Iwakuni in 1967, which today operates under the same name, Fukuoka Soko Co., LTD, as the sole agent. It is also the sole agency at Sasebo Naval Base, and so is the only agent for JA-02. In the same year, he moved into the commercial shipment area of the business based on the company's experience in the military market. Okinawa Enterprise Corp. (OEC, JA-01) was added to the network in 1972. This network of agencies has enhanced their ability to be competitive in the U.S. military market.
Tominaga founded Yokohama Kaiun International Col., Ltd (YKI) in Yokohama in 1965 to handle all of the bases in the JA-01 area. His son, Taro Tominaga, is the current CEO/President of YKI, and is an annual attendee at the IAM Annual Meeting.
Koji Tominaga's vision has resulted in a company now known at The Tominaga Group, which has more than 70 branches in their network of 12 companies. The annual revenue in 2016 was $450,000,000.00 for the entire group. He was a true pioneer in our industry, and his companies are valued agents for our entire household goods forwarding industry today, long after he passed away in an accident on March 26, 1980.