The ceremony that marked Carnival's project was joined by Carnival's Remco Buis, senior vice president port operations and development, and Paul Chong, vice president of business development for Carnival Asia, as well as representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and the city of Sasebo.

Following the 20-year agreement that was signed in March 2018 with the of Sasebo and MLIT Japan, the cruise company will build and operate the new terminal, expected to open in summer 2020.

Moreover, Carnival and additional cruise line brands will be granted berthing preference, enabling them to provide guests with optimized cruise itineraries when visiting the port.

Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia commented

As the cruise industry's first terminal in Japan, this groundbreaking is a historic day for all of us at Carnival Corporation and for our partners in this exciting project.

He added that the terminal will boost Japan's presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan's ports have witnessed exceptional growth over the past few years, and cruising continues to increase in popularity in Asia. The company will continue to work with Japan's government and MLIT to identify potential additional port development opportunities.

Overall, Carnival Corporation has faced a $20 million fine after being accused of dumping grey water into Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park; In the meantime, a US Federal judge threatened that she might block Carnival Corporation from docking cruise ships at ports in the US as punishment for a possible probation violation.