The Japanese subsidiary of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., and its local bottlers in Japan have said they are expecting the centralisation of bottling operations into a nationwide supply-chain management system to be completed by January 2005.

The first phase of the project, the consolidation of the group's material procurement operations and toll-product operations of tea and water products, is set to become operational on 1 October. All 15 of Coke's Japanese bottlers are now involved in the joint venture.