Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 28 (pp.68–69)

February – April 2001

9 FebruaryJapanese fishery training ship Ehime maru sunk by surfacing US Navy nuclear submarine Greenbill, drowning nine people on board
Chinese government approved 1,118-km railway construction project connecting Golmud in Qinhai Province and Lhasa in Tibet Autonomous Region with 960 km of line at 4000 m or more above sea level
16 FebruaryInternational passenger charter flights started from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) using free slots at late night and early morning hours
28 FebruaryInterCity express train from Newcastle bound for Kings Cross Station in London and freight train derailed by fourwheel drive Land Rover that had skidded onto tracks killing 15 people
4 MarchBridge over R. Douro in Northern Portugal collapsed leaving 70 people missing
7 MarchJR East announced project to pump pure underground spring water from tunnel on Sobu Line in metropolitan Tokyo into R. Tachiai running through Shinagawa Ward to improve river water quality
Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Ltd., and Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd., agreed to merge in January 2003 and established new company called Tabi Kikaku (Trip Planning) with largest shareholders, Kinki Nippon Railway and JR West to prepare for merger
13 MarchRevised JR Bill to promote full privatization of JR East, JR Central and JR West submitted to National Diet. Bill allows autonomous management of finances, personnel, business plans, etc., with sale of all remaining 2.02 million government-held shares by autumn 2001
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced 2000 air transport statistics with 92.89 million domestic passengers (+2.5% over 1999) and 927,597 tonnes (+5.0%) of freight. International passengers numbered 19.21 million (+9.5%) with 1.183 million tonnes of freight (+6.1%)
15 MarchRussian Vnukovo Airlines Tupolev 154 from Istanbul to Moscow hijacked by four Chechens and landed at Medina, Saudi Arabia. Saudi special forces made daring rescue but two hostages and one hijacker killed
16 MarchSeries-0 shinkansen carriage shipped from Hakata Port of Fukuoka City as donation by JR West to National Railway Museum in York, England
17 MarchLocomotive and wagon of freight train derailed in early morning near Tsurumi Station on JR Tokaido Freight Line, disabling power lines and stopping 175 Tokaido main line trains for 12 hours
18 MarchAmtrak train from Chicago bound for Emeryville, California, derailed near Des Moines, lowa killing one person and injuring 90
27 MarchKeio Electric Railway started women-only car service on express trains leaving Shinjuku Station in Tokyo after 23:00 to prevent risk of late-night sexual harassment
Two trains collided head on near Pecrot, Belgium killing at least 8 people
28 MarchSaitama Railway Corporation (Urawa-misono–Akabane-iwabuchi, 14.6 km) started subway operation between Saitama Prefecture and Tokyo by through operation with Teito Rapid Transit Authority Subway Namboku Line
29 MarchInchon International Airport opened about 50 km west of Seoul, Korea with two 3750-m runways
Boeing Corporation freezes development of ultra-high-capacity 747X and announces full-scale development of medium-size airplane travelling near speed of sound
Nagano Electric Railroad (Meitetsu) filed notice to close 12.9-km Kijima Line (Shinshu-nakano–Kijima) by late March 2002 with Niigata Transport Bureau of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
31 MarchThird-sector Ohata Line (Shimokita–Ohata, 18.0 km) of Shimokita Transport in Shimokita Peninsula, a northern most Honshu, and Wajima– Anamizu Line (20.4 km) of Noto Railway on Noto Peninsula both closed due to lack of passengers
5 AprilThird-sector company, Man’yo Line Co., Ltd. established to take over management of 12.8-km Man’yo Line of Kaetsuno Railway connecting Takaoka City and Shinminato City in Toyama Prefecture by tram
8 AprilJR East started 3-month test of IC Super Urban Intelligent Card (SUICA) at 27 stations on Saikyo Line, allowing 10,000 volunteer card holders to pass without feeding cards through automatic ticket gates
Two-car runaway train on Iizaka Line of Fukushima Transport crashed into building at Fukushima Station, injuring three passengers, driver and conductor
9 AprilAmerican Airlines holding company AMR announced acquisition of bankrupt Trans World Airline (TWA) to become world’s largest airline company
12 AprilJapan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) reported 17.819 million (+8.9% over 1999) Japanese traveled overseas in 2000 with 4.755 million (+7.2%) foreigners visiting Japan. Most popular destinations were USA (5.07 million) followed by Korea (2.38 million) and China (1.46 million)
20 AprilKawasaki City filed application with Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for approval to construct Kawasaki Municipal Rapid Transit Rail subway between Shin Yurigaoka on Odakyu Line and Moto-sumiyoshi on Tokyu Toyoko Line by 2011
22 AprilSingapore Airlines started world’s first onboard email service
25 AprilMinistry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport approved application from Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation to start new construction of Joetsu–Toyama (110 km) section of Hokuriku Shinkansen, and Hakata– Shinyashiro (130 km) and Shinyashiro– Nishi Kagoshima (127 km) sections of Kyushu Shinkansen
26 AprilMr Junichiro Koizumi elected new Prime Minister of Japan with Ms Chikage Ogi remaining in post of Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
27 AprilJR East, Japan Airlines and Japan Tourist Board opened Station Net Travel (http://www.tabi.eki-net.com) Web site for providing travel information, and booking JR tickets, plane tickets, hotels, etc.

Table: Financial Results of JR Companies


Yoji Ohashi
Vice President of All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., (ANA) appointed President on 1 April. Joined ANA in 1964 after graduating from Keio University and served as Board Member, New York Branch Manager, and Managing Director. Current President, Mr Kichisaburo Nomura appointed ANA Chairman

Takaaki Minami
Vice President of Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd., appointed President of Tabi Kikaku on 7 March (see Topics). Joined JNR in 1967 after graduating from University of Tokyo. Joined JR West at privatization in 1987 and appointed Executive Director of Nippon Travel Agency in 1999

Takeshi Mashima
Former President and Chairman of Japan Air System Co., Ltd., and former Director General of Maritime Safety Agency, died on 13 April. After graduating from University of Tokyo, joined Ministry of Transport in 1948, serving as Shipping Commissioner, and Director General of Maritime Safety Agency. After retirement in 1980, served as Chairman of Maritime Credit Corporation and President and Chairman of Toa Domestic Airlines (now Japan Air System)