A group of Japanese businesses involved in global trade, including textile and logistics firms, is exploring the application of blockchain technology as a way to streamline and upgrade cross-border trade operations.

In the demonstration test, companies including The Japan Research Institute and Mitsui & Co, whose operations include textiles, machinery, chemicals and logistics, will input information of real trade transactions using a blockchain-based application. Through this, a wide variety of documents, including trade agreements and logistics/insurance documents are digitised, recorded and shared among participants.

By comparing against current operations, the test is intended to verify the effectiveness of blockchain technology for enhancing security and reducing the time required to settle cross-border trade transactions, discrepancies among related documents and administrative costs.

The companies say the technology will be evaluated for its viability in cross-border trade business operations.

In the demonstration test, Mitsui & Co said it aims to combine the experience and know-how gained from its long-standing global trading business with the cutting-edge blockchain technology, and achieve better productivity in trade transactions and gain new business opportunities.

Others involved have said they will use the technology to become more competitive and to continuously upgrade customer service.

The demonstration test was planned with Japan's Silicon Valley Representative Office, based in California, that conducts research on new technologies based on a Proof of Concept for cross-border trading carried out with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in February.