Anyone involved in the Japanese market knows about the significance of the Japan Home Show. It may no longer be the biggest building products show in Japan (that honour goes to the Nikkei Show in March), but with its long history it is the most well-known amongst importers. For this reason, BC Wood once again organized and managed a large pavilion of 24 booths on behalf of Canadian industry.
As always, we had a strong contingent of BC Wood members representing a wide spectrum of our product sectors. This included engineered wood (OSB) from Ainsworth, lumber products from Welco, kitchens from Merit and Pacific Rim, house packages from Standard Building Supplies, as well as millwork from Sauder Moulding and Millwork represented by a dealer we previously introduced to them. By collaborating with the WRCEA, we also had a special WRC display presented by Interfor and WFP in conjunction with their Japanese dealers. This WRC display was a great kick-off for our renewed efforts to promote cedar products in this market.
We were also fortunate in being able to borrow furniture pieces for our pavilion that were brought over for Tokyo Designers Week by Judson Beaumont, Brent Comber, John Ross, and Mario Sabljak. These pieces made the common space of the pavilion feel like a gallery. Brent Comber’s WRC sphere was also a great compliment to our WRC display and really showed how beautiful this species is.
In addition to our members, the Canada Wood pavilion included several other industry associations: Canada Tsuga, the APA, FPAC, and QWEB. By coordinating with QWEB we were also able to have some non-wood manufacturers from Quebec beside our pavilion. This helped create a large Canadian section at the show.
However, we were not the biggest at the show. The Obama administration’s policy of pushing exports was very evident in the American pavilion. It was by far the biggest and most impressive presence they have had at the show that I can remember. This kind of aggressive push combined with a weak US dollar means we can expect greater competition in Japan from our American friends. Other countries such as China, Germany, Italy, Korea, etc. also had sizable pavilions at the show.