Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 14 (pp.44–45)

June – August 1997

6 June White Paper on Tourism reported that more tourists headed for foreign countries but domestic travel flattening. 187 million people made overnight travel within Japan and 16.69 million visited foreign countries in 1996, up 9.1% from previous year. Foreign tourists visiting Japan reached 3.8 million
8 June JAL flight 706 from Hong Kong to Nagoya encountered turbulence over Chita Peninsula, Japan, injuring 11
Propeller plane operated by domestic airline crashed near Bunia, Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) killing 30 crew and passengers
19 June Tunnel boring machine with world largest cross section (14.18 m) made debut in Japan. Will excavate three tracks over 363.8-m section, including retaining track between Seishoko-mae and Azabu
25 June Two Union Pacific freight trains collided head-on and exploded in huge blast in Devine, Texas, derailing 29 rail cars, and killing four people
27 June Explosion in toilet of train bound for St. Petersburg from Moscow killed 3 passengers and injured 7
28 June Typhoon No. 8 hit Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, causing two train accidents. Outbound train on San-in line derailed, injuring 16 of 43 passengers. Four-car train on Tohoku line ran into track mired by landslide injuring 11
2 July Panamanian tanker Diamond Grace (259,999 tonnes) ran aground off Yokohama Port spilling approx. 1,556 kl of crude oil into bay
3 July Helicopter crashed in Akame Valley, Nabari City, Japan, killing four persons on board
5 July JR West opened renovated Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum displaying 18 steam locomotives. Museum displays front of former Nijo Station, oldest wooden station building in Japan
Railway accident in Stadtallendorf, Germany, caused by 15-m long pipe twisting off freight train and slicing open final car of packed passing train, killing 6 and injuring 15
7 July Vienna-Warsaw express careened off bridge in torrential rain near Ostrava, Czech Republic, injuring 64
Romanian passenger train derailed from buckled tracks after week-long heat wave, injuring 12
8 July Bomb exploded in Punjab train, killing 23 and injuring 45
Large bus fell into Chang Jiang River in Sichuan, China, leaving 33 missing
9 July Explosion in Brazilian TAM Airways Focker 100 flying near Sao Paulo, Brazil, made hole in fuselage. Plane made emergency landing south of Sao Paulo. One male passenger killed when blown out of hole
10 July Eurotunnel shareholders approved debt restructuring plan allowing creditor banks to swap $3.4 billion of debt and unpaid interest for large stake in company. Vote also enables Eurotunnel to operate Channel Tunnel until 2086
11 July Cuban plane flying from Santiago de Cupa to Havana crashed into sea leaving 44 crew and passengers missing
12 July JR West and other companies opened Kyoto Station Building. 60-m high, 470-m long, 19-story structure contains theatre, hotel, and department store making it largest station building in Japan
17 July Domestic airliner crashed in West Java, Indonesia, killing 26
21 July L23 glider crashed after takeoff in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, killing 78- year old pilot and severely injuring 73-year old instructor
26 July Small plane crashed at Ostend Municipal Airport, western Belgium, during acrobatics at international air show killing 8 and injuring 46
31 July Federal Express MD11 crashed at Newark International Airport, USA, but 5 crew escaped safely
6 August Korean Air B747-300 flying from Seoul to Guam crashed 5 km south of Agana International Airport killing 227. Bad weather and landing guidance system failure blamed
7 August DC8 freight plane stalled shortly after take-off from Miami International Airport and crashed into nearby industrial area killing 4 crew and 2 people on ground
9 August Los Angeles-Chicago train derailed by collapsed wooden bridge weakened by heavy rain injuring 116 passengers
10 August Formosa Airline propeller plane flying from Taipei to Mazu Island, Taiwan, crashed into mountain killing 14 passengers and 2 crew
11 August Crowded ferry collided with barge and overturned outside Hanoi, Vietnam killing 4 and leaving 20 missing
Streetcar service returned to Sydney after 36 years. Each train consists of five cars and serves 3.6-km section connecting city centre and nearby vicinity
12 August Container freight train stopped at level crossing hit by sleeper train with approximately 300 passengers on Numazu-Katahama section of JR Central's Tokaido Line derailing two sleeper cars and injuring 47 passengers
15 August Cruise ship capsized in Manila Bay killing 7
21 August Mid-air collision over Ryugasaki City, Japan, between Japanese Self Defense Forces helicopter and light plane killed 2 helicopter crew and plane pilot
25 August Head-on collision between two trains at Tateda Station of Konan Line serving western Aomori Prefecture, Japan, injured 32

Photo: New Kyoto Station Building
(JR West)


Yoshiharu Takamatsu
Appointed Vice President of Japan Railway Construction Public Corp. on 1 June. Joined JNR after graduating from Faculty of Engineering of University of Tokyo in 1962. Appointed JR East Director of Tokyo Construction Office in April 1987. Became Board Member in 1990, and Executive Vice President in June 1995

Satoshi Isozaki
Died on 19 June, aged 84. Joined Ministry of Railways in 1935 and oversaw post-war labour reductions. Became JNR Chairman in 1969 and promoted controversial ‘productivity movement’. Appointed Chairman of Sunshine City development in Ikebukuro, Tokyo after retirement from JNR

Yoshio Kaneda
Appointed President of JR Freight on 23 June. Joined Ministry of Transport after graduating from Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1961. Appointed Executive Director of JR Freight in 1993. Former President Yasushi Tanahashi becomes Executive Advisor

Koji Tanaka
Appointed President of JR Kyushu on 24 June. Joined JNR after graduating from Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1960. Appointed Managing Director of JR Kyushu in April 1987. Former President Yoshitaka Ishii promoted to Executive Chairman

Mutsutake Otsuka
Appointed Vice President of JR East on 27 June. Joined JNR after graduating from Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1965. Appointed JR East Managing Director in 1994

Masaru Kotani
Appointed President of Keihin Electric Express Railway Co., Ltd. on 27 June. Joined company after graduating from Tohoku University. Appointed Vice President in 1993 and Executive Vice President in 1995. Former President Ichiro Hiramatsu appointed Executive Chairman

Akira Niwa
Appointed President of Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. on 27 June. Joined Ministry of Transport after graduating from Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1958. Retired from Ministry in 1991 after serving as Director General of Maritime Safety Agency. Served as Chairman of Japan National Tourist Organization. Former Chairman Hisao Takahashi becomes Executive Advisor

Hiroyoshi Akashi
Appointed President of Nishi Nippon Railroad Company (Nishitetsu) on 27 June. Joined company after graduating from Keio University in 1958. Appointed Executive Director in 1995. Former President Naoyuki Hashimoto becomes Advisor

Makoto Kitanaka
Appointed President of Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd. on 27 June. Joined company after graduating from Hitotsubashi University in 1959. Appointed Executive Vice President in June 1995. Former President Takashi Kitagami becomes Executive Advisor

Masahiko Kurono
Appointed Administrative Vice Minister of Transport on 1 July. Joined Ministry after graduating from Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1964. Assumed posts of Deputy Director of Railway Bureau and Director of the Minister's Secretariat. Appointed Chief of Civil Aviation Bureau in June 1995. Former Administrative Vice Minister Minoru Toyoda retired