Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 33 (pp.60–61)

May – July 2002

3 MayStorm sank ferry in Meghna River south of Bangladesh capital of Dhaka with death toll expected to pass 450 people
4 MayDomestic BAC1-11-50 carrying 76 passengers and crew crashed on takeoff in Kano, killing all on board and about 50 people on ground
7 MayChina Northern Airlines MD82 crashed into sea near Dalian, killing all 112 passengers and crew on board
EgyptAir B737crashed outside Tunisian capital of Tunis while landing
10 MayFour-car train derailed at Potters Bar station in north London, killing 7 people and injuring 90
14 MayJR East announced Morioka–Hachinohe section of Tohoku Shinkansen now under construction to start operations on 1 December with 15 round-trip daily services between Tokyo and Hachinohe and one between Sendai and Hachinohe
15 MayHanshin Electric Railway announced plan to dissolve railway carriage manufacturing subsidiary Mukogawasharyo Co., Ltd. on 30 September, citing poor performance due to declining orders
17 MayFuji Heavy Industries Ltd. announced plan to cease production of railway carriages and bus bodies at end of FY2002 due to market slump with entire production totalling 10,299 units. Company to focus efforts on automobile production
25 MayChina Airlines B747-200 crashed into Taiwan Strait, killing all 206 passengers and 19 crew
Passenger and freight trains collided outside Mozambique capital of Maputo, killing more than 200 people and injuring several hundred others
26 MayBarges hit pillars of road bridge over Arkansas River in Oklahoma, causing collapse of 150-m span and drowning 14 occupants of cars on bridge
27 MayJR West filed plan to close 46.2-km section of Kabe–Sandankyo section of Kabe Line (Yokogawa–Sandankyo) in November 2003, citing lack of passengers
28 MayMinistry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) approved request for three third-sector companies to operate existing line between Morioka and Hachinohe when new Morioka–Hachinohe section of Tohoku Shinkansen begins operation on 1 December.
30 May4500-strong Japan Railfan Club named JR East’s new Series E257 Azusa and Kaiji limited expresses running on Chuo Line as winner of 2002 Blue Ribbon Award
28 MarchKinki Nippon Railway filed plan with MLIT to close 20.4-km Hokusei Line in Mie Prefecture from Nishi Kuwana to Ageki on 1 April 2003 due to declining passenger and freight volumes
3 JuneTakamatsu Kotohira Electric Railroad Co., Ltd (three lines of about 60 km in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan) and subsidiary Kotoden Bus announced court-authorized rehabilitation plan
11 JuneKoizumi Cabinet approved 2002 White Paper on Traffic Safety against background of lowest number of traffic deaths (8,747) since 1981 and record 947,169 traffic accidents for 9th straight year
12 JuneTwo commuter trains crashed in outskirts of Chicago, USA, injuring 30
15 JuneBerlin City loop fully re-opened after 41 years at cost of a54 million
Tanker crossed divide on Seoul–Busan Expressway and collided with oncoming express bus, killing 16 bus passengers and injuring 16
16 JuneNippon Sharyo, Ltd., began exporting 300 stainless-steel double-decker passenger carriages to Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (METRA) in Chicago
18 JuneJR Central and Railway Technical Research Institute transported two prototype linear motor cars consisting of head car (28.0 m) and middle car (24.3 m) to Maglev Test Line in Yamanashi Prefecture
19 JuneKorean Airlines awarded complementary pass for unlimited first-class tickets to anywhere airline flies for next 4 years to Guus Hiddink, Korean World Cup team soccer coach
20 JuneWorld Tourism Organization (headquartered in Madrid) announced decline in 2001 world travel to 693 million (-0.6% over previous year) due to effects of terrorist attacks in USA on 11 September 2001
21 JuneJapanese government completed privatization of JR East with third and final sell-off of 500,000 shares
25 JuneHokkaido International Airlines filed with Tokyo District Court under Civil Rehabilitation Law aiming to rehabilitate management through full alliance with All Nippon Airways
1 JulyRussia Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev 154 collided with DHL-operated B-757 cargo plane over Lake Konstanz on Swiss–German border, killing all 71 people on board both planes
Gomen–Nahari Line of third-sector operator Tosa Kuroshio Railway began operations over 42.7-km route in eastern Kochi Prefecture, Japan; built with ¥51.8-billion investment by Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation
JR West started Japan’s first morning rush-hour female-only carriage on Osaka Kanjo and Katamachi lines for 3-month trial
2 JulyJR East began permanent female-only carriage on Saikyo Line for late-night weekdays after popularity of 1-year trial
4 JulyCessna 310 light aircraft crashed near Los Angeles, killing pilots and two children on ground
5 JulyMLIT approved application by third-sector company composed of Narita High-speed Rail Access and Keisei Electric Railway Co., Ltd. to build new line connecting central Tokyo and New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) with service scheduled to begin in fiscal 2010
11 JulyAkita City Transportation Bureau announced transfer of remaining 41 bus routes on 11 lines to private sector by end of fiscal 2005; 70% of city bus lines already transferred to Akita Central Transportation
15 JulyMLIT announced 1.8% year-on-year increase in domestic air travellers (94.58 million) in 2001 but 13.95% year-on-year decrease in international air travellers (16.90 million) after 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks caused 30% drop in Japanese travellers to North America
18 JulyTohoku Shinkansen began test runs of East-i track inspection car on new 96.6-km Morioka–Hachinohe section in preparation for start of commercial operations on 1 December 2002
20 JulySeven-car express train bound for Venice derailed outside Messina, Sicily, killing 8 passengers and injuring about 40
23 JulyCoalition of seven Japanese companies announced successful bid to build 176-km southern half of Taiwan Rapid Transit Railway (linking Taipei and Guaxiong in 1.5 hours)
27 JulyRussian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashed at air show in western Ukraine, killing 83 spectators
28 JulyRussian Pulkovo Airlines Ilyushin-86 on training flight crashed in outskirts of Moscow after taking off from Sheremetyevo Airport, killing 14 crew
29 JulyAmtrak express bound for Washington DC derailed in Kensington, Maryland, injuring 90 passengers
Table: Financial Results of JR Companies


Susumu Ishihara
Executive Director of JR Kyushu named company President on 17 May. Joined JNR after graduating in law from University of Tokyo in 1969, becoming JR Kyushu Director in 1993, Managing Director in 1997, and Executive Director and Head of General Planning and Policy in June 2001. President Koji Tanaka to become Chairman of Board of Directors and Chairman Yukitaka Ishii to become Adviser to Board

Mr Masao Kamei
Former Chairman of Supervisory Committee for JNR Restructuring and former President of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., died on 23 June. Joined Sumitomo after graduating in law from University of Tokyo in 1939, moved to Sumitomo Electric in 1946 becoming President in 1973, Chairman of Board in 1982, and Advisor in 1991

Mr Masahiko Kurono
Appointed Chairman of Narita Airport Authority on 30 July. Joined former Ministry of Transport in 1964 after graduating in law from University of Tokyo. Served as Director General of Secretariat, Director General of Civil Aviation Bureau, and Administrative Vice Minister for Transport, before retirement in 1999