March 2006
1 March
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced resignation of President Toshiyuki Shinmachi to become Non-representative Chairman and Director Haruka Nishimatsu to become President, ending internal disputes in which four directors of subsidiary companies urged Shinmachi’s retirement

1 March
Large bus burst into flames on highway in Guangxi Zhuangzu Zizhique, China, killing 16 passengers

7 March
Bus ran into river in Katmandu, Nepal, leaving at least 4 passengers dead and 50 missing

13 March
China’s National Development and Reform Committee announced Beijing–Shanghai (1320 km) High Speed Railway Project with maximum train speed of 350 km/h, linking two cities in about 5 hours and revenue operation scheduled to start in 2010

16 March
Class-2 state-owned Shin Kitakyushu Airport opened on artificial island in Suo Sea with 2500-m runway for large jets

16 March
Class-3 prefecture-owned Shin Tanegashima Airport opened in Nakatane Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, with 2000-m runway for small jets

17 March
Yoshioka Kaitei Station on Hokkaido side of Seikan Tunnel (53.85 km) demolished for construction of Hokkaido Shinkansen

22 March
European Union (EU) publicized 95 airlines judged ‘unsafe’ for failure to meet international safety standards; 92 prohibited from using any airport in EU or overflying member states, and 3 subject to special flight regulations

22 March
International Air Transport Association (IATA) revised projected 2007 profits of world airlines from $6.2 billion to $7.2 billion due to demand growth and improved operational efficiency

23 March
Fire on Star Princess cruise ship (2690 passengers and 1123 crew) killed 1 passenger and injured 11

27 March
New Keihanna Line (18.8 km) opened, consisting of Gakken Nara Tomigaoka–Ikoma section (8.6 km) constructed by third-sector Nara Ikoma High Speed Railway and former Higashi-Osaka Line (between Ikoma and Nagata) of Kinki Nippon Railway and extending to Osaka Municipal Subway’s new Chuo Line

27 March
Ariake–Toyosu extension (2.8 km) of Tokyo Waterfront New Transit (Yurikamome) opened

30 March
Pleasure boat sank in Persian Gulf off Bahrain, leaving 57 dead and 13 missing

31 March
Land adjoining Tobu Railway’s Narihirabashi Station in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, announced as site of world’s tallest digital broadcasting tower (610 m)


Milestone
Mr Haruka Nishimatsu
Appointed JAL President and CEO of JAL Group. Joined JAL after graduating in economics from University of Tokyo, becoming Director in June 2005 after serving as fund manager and executive officer. Assumed post of Representative Senior Managing Director on 1 April 2006