Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 57 (topics)

July–December 2010

1 July

Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed line (301 km) opened, linking 8 cities including Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang in less than 1 hour at operating speeds of 350 km/h

2 July

Chinese Ministry of Tourism announced overseas visits by Chinese tourists in 2010 reached 5.3 million (+11% year-on-year increase) with 1.8 million visitors to Japan (80% increase) due to relaxed visa regulation

2 July

Petrol tanker overturned and caught fire in village in Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 220 people, injuring 100 others, and destroying entire village as residents watched World Cup match between Ghana and Uruguay

2 July

Collision between buses carrying commuting workers near Kaesŏng Industrial Region, North Korea, killed 10 people and injured 40 others

3 July

Express bus drove over guard rail on Incheon Bridge, South Korea linking Incheon International Airport and Incheon City and fell 10 meters into sea, killing 12 people and injuring 12 others

4 July

Bus carrying factory workers caught fire in tunnel near Jiangsu, China, killing 24 people and injuring 19 others

6 July

Third-sector Nagoya Express Railway operating 15.2-km Aonami Line between Nagoya and Kinjo-Futo applied for Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure as part of business restructuring to rebuild business through capital reduction, etc.; line opened in October 2004 with new double-tracked electrification and elevated sections after JR Central abandoned old freight line, but operated continuously in red ever since

6 July

Tokyo Metropolitan Government TMG request for consultation with national government concerning integration of Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro accepted by Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Maehara but Toei Subway’s long-term debts exceeding ¥1 trillion forms considerable barrier to integration with Tokyo Metro aiming to become public company with national government and TMG holding shares

6 July

Mitsubishi Electric announced $40 million order for railway electrical equipment including motors and controllers for Sao Paulo (Brazil) Suburban Line No. 8 for 288 (36 trainsets) under construction by Spanish rolling stock maker CAF and due for delivery in mid-2011

23 July

Last three cars of 6-car Glacier Special operated by Matterhorn Gotthard Railway (MGB) in Switzerland, derailed with two cars overturning to kill one Japanese tourist and injure 40 others; popular line with tourists travelling between Zermatt and San Moritz (270km); reopened on 25 July 5 days before Swiss government transport board announced accident caused by excess speed

24 July

Stampede by crowd in tunnel at Love Parade festival with a venue capacity of 500,000 but attended by more than 1.4 million people in Duisberg, northwest Germany, left 20 dead and more than 500 injured

24 July

Bridge collapse in Luoyang, Henan province, China, left at least 37 people dead and 19 missing

25 July

Rescue helicopter (Eurocopter AS365N3) crashed while providing assistance to stranded climbers in Chichibu, Saitama, Japan, killing all 5 crew and rescuers onboard

27 July

Lufthansa cargo plane crashed and split in two on landing at Riyadh King Khalid International Airport, Saudi Arabia, but 2 crew escaped unharmed

28 July

Domestic Airbus A320 belonging to Airblue crashed into mountainside near Islamabad, Pakistan, killing all 152 passengers and crew onboard; poor visibility in bad weather blamed for crash

28 July

Light aircraft (Cessna TU206) crashed in mountains near Fukushima City, Hokkaido, Japan, killing both people onboard

29 July

Diesel railcar and light truck collided on railway crossing (no barriers or warning lights) of Kanto Railway in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, killing 2 of 3 people in truck and severely injuring one other but causing no injuries to train driver and rail passengers

30 July

JR Central announced wide-scale reforms for Hamamatsu Works (Shizuoka Prefecture) centred on maintenance of JR Central shinkansen rolling stock; in addition to renovation of 190,000 m2 of land equivalent to 83% of current works ground area, plans include new infrastructure, with investment totaling ¥8.7 billion

30 July

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism approved ¥2000 facilities usage fee for passengers using new international terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) starting 21 October

31 July

Diesel railcar on JR Central’s Iwate Line ran into landslip at tunnel exit and partly derailed, slightly injuring 2 people onboard

1 August

Private C123 plane crashed in national park about 300-km north of Anchorage, Alaska, killing at least 3 people onboard

3 August

Antonov 24 belonging to Katekavia crashed on landing at Igarka in north Siberia, Russia, killing 11 of 15 people onboard

3 August

Mexican airline Mexicana announced restructuring application to national court while continuing operations following participation since 2009 in One World airline alliance including JAL, American Airlines, etc.

6 August

Smoke from widespread forest fires in western Russia caused diversion of about 30 flights from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport to neighbouring airports following some 2 months of record high temperatures around Moscow and increasing mortality levels from heat exhaustion and smog inhalation

6 August

Widespread flooding in Jammu and Kashmir Province of Northern India left at lest 132 dead and 457 missing

8 August

Heavy rains in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Region of China caused massive landslide, burying villages and leaving 1144 people dead and 600 missing

9 August

Bus carrying 14 Japanese tourists overturned on expressway outside Cedar City, Utah, USA, killing 3 people and injuring 12

9 August

Small plane carrying 9 people crashed in Alaska outside Dillingham, killing 5 people including Former President Pro Tempore and Senator Ted Stevens

13 August

Brazilian airline TAM and Chilean airline LAN announced business merger to become largest airline in S. America and 11th largest airline in world carrying 46 million people each year; since one carrier belongs to Star Alliance and other belongs to One World, unknown what will happen after merger

14 August

Off-road vehicle ran into race spectators in Mojave Desert, USA, killing 8 people and injuring 9

16 August

Boeing 737-700 belonging to Aires Airline struck by lightning on landing at San Andres Island in Caribbean northwest of Colombia and crashed before splitting into 3 pieces but miraculously only 1 person killed with 124 others sustaining injuries of varying degrees

17 August

Passenger train collided with sewage tanker truck on crossing in Sudbury, England, injuring 21 passengers and train driver

18 August

Mitsubishi Trading and partners including Kinki Rolling Stock and Toshiba, announced order for 88 subway carriages (11 train sets) for Cairo Metro; 56 cars for extension of Line 3 and 32 for Line 2

18 August

Massive landslide in Yunan Province, western China, killed 29 people and left 63 missing

18 August

Bus carrying 42 people ran off road and fell 100 meters into river on Luzon Island, Philippines, killing 39 people onboard

19 August

Massive floods caused by swollen river washed away part of Shitingjiang Bridge on Baocheng railway in Sichuan Province, China, forcing 18-car express to make emergency stop before 2 carriages settled into water; all 1300 passengers evacuated safely

19 August

Worst-ever monsoon flooding in northwest Pakistan killed some 1500 people and displaced 20 million others since July as well as causing economic losses of at least $1 billion

22 August

Fifth Japan China Korea Tourism Conference opened in Hangzhou City, China, with policy of increasing regional tourism from 17 million in 2000 to 26 million in 2015; Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Maehara announced lifting of Chinese government controls on Japanese tourism businesses operating in China on 21 August

23 August

State Railway of Thailand (SRT) opened new 28-km Airport Link line between central Bangkok and Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK); rolling stock built by Siemens of Germany runs at 160 km/h to complete journey in 15 minutes

23 August

Bus with Hong Kong tourists hijacked in Manila, Philippines, by armed ex-police officer who shot and killed 8 people before being killed by police SWAT

24 August

Small propeller plane (German-built Dornier 228) owned by Agni Air crashed in heavy rain outside Kathmandu, Nepal, killing all 14 people on board

24 August

Brazilian-built Embraer 190 crashed on landing at Yichun City in Heilongjiang Province after over-running runway and catching fire to kill 42 of 96 people onboard

27 August

Boeing announced yet another delay in delivery of new medium size B-787 until March 2011 due to delays in supplies of Rolls Royce engines; Japan’s ANA had expected to take first delivery in May 2008

30 August

JR Hokkaido announced start of operations from middle of 2011 of dual mode vehicle (DMV) running on both roads and rail using modified Toyota microbus to carry 25 to 29 passengers

30 August

JAL and corporate restructuring group submitted restructuring plans to Tokyo District Court including layoffs of 16,000 staff, removal of 45 domestic routes, debt forgiveness of ¥521.5 billion and request for government financial assistance of ¥350 million

1 September

German government announced new 45-euro departure tax for German airport users starting January 2011 to help finance environmental measures and bolster public finances

3 September

Overnight sleeper bus in head-on collision with container truck on expressway in Jilin Province, China, set fire to both vehicles, killing 13 people in bus and 3 in truck, and injuring 38 others

4 September

Light aircraft carrying skydivers crashed on S. Island, New Zealand, killing pilot and 8 people on board

7 September

Tupolev 154 belonging to Russian domestic carrier Alrosa Mimy Enterprise made emergency landing at small airport in Siberia, northern Russia, after developing engine trouble; overran runway and stopped in trees but no injuries to 81 passengers and crew on board

8 September

US Federal government announced start of new $14 visa processing charge for visitors from 36 countries

9 September

All Nippon Airways announced plans to establish Low Cost Carrier (LCC) business in conjunction with Hong Kong investment group at year end, trading from FY2011 under new brand based out of Kansai International Airport and carrying both international and domestic passengers with fares about 50% less than other major carriers

13 September

ART42 belonging to domestic carrier Comviasa Airlines crashed in southeastern Venezuela, killing 17 of 51 passengers and crew and injuring 34 others

15 September

JR Kyushu announced plans to complete opening of entire Kyushu Shinkansen (267.5 km) between Hakata and Kagoshima Central on 12 March 2011, following partial opening of first southern half section (137.6 km) between Shin-Yatsushiro and Kagoshima Central in March 2004; Sakura through operations with San’yo Shinkansen to link directly with Shin-Osaka

16 September

JR Central announced planned opening on 21 March 2011 of railway museum now under construction in Nagoya City as ‘Linear and Railway Dream Memorial Museum’

17 September

Osaka Metropolitan Government announced decision to sell all 49% shares of Osaka Prefectural Urban Development co., which is a third-sector company operating Semboku Rapid Railway (14.3 km between Nakamozu and Izumi Chuo). The third-sector company operates freight handling business as well

20 September

Freight train ran into passenger train standing in station due to poor visibility in heavy rain in Madhya Pradesh State, India, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 50 others

21 September

World’s largest international railway technology trade fairInnoTrans opened in Berlin, Germany, to promote latest rail and transport technologies from world’s railway companies, etc, including Japanese companies; both JR East and Tokyo Metro became the first Japanese railway companies to participate in show, held for 3 days until 24 September

21 September

Malaysian LCC Air Asia X announced start of flights between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Kuala Lumpur from 9 December 2010 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday each week using late night slots

21 September

IATA announced revised expected final FY2010 profits of world’s airlines at US$8.9 billion or 3.5 fold increase over June forecast of US$2.5 billion due to faster than expected economic recovery; however, expected forecast for 2011 expected to remain at US$5.3 billion in black

21 September

After plans for high-speed ferry link (Techno Super Liner・TSL) between Tokyo and Ogasawara Islands abandoned due to financing problems, vessel builder Mitsui Zosen Techno Seaways requested compensation from Ogasawara Shipping for broken charter contract and court ordered payment of US$2 million; TSL promoted by old Ministry of Transport and constructed for about US$110 million but Tokyo Metropolitan Government refused support due to high cost of oil, etc., forcing service abandonment in 2005

22 September

Nihon Sharyo Seizo and Sumitomo Trading announced order for 160 double-deck carriages for commuter train from Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (Metra) worth US$ 560 million; two companies already previously delivered 505 doubledeck carriages to Metra

26 September

Tourist bus from Poland struck supporting pier on expressway near Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people and injuring 34 others

26 September

French-built Eurocopter AS332L crashed in mountains on Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, killing two people on board

27 September

First north–south subway line (18.5 km) opened in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, between Shenxian Lake and Century City; second 23.0-km, east–west line now under construction

28 September

Chinese rail speed record of 416.6 km/h recorded by Hexie Hao (CRH380A) test train on new track linking Shanghai and Hanzhou (beating previous October 2008 394.3 km/h record between Beijin and Tienshin); commercial service expected to start in October 2008

30 September

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagoya Aerospace Systems started production of first, domestically manufactured, small, fuel-efficient, passenger jet with 70 to 90 seats (Mitsubishi Regional Jet・MRJ) aiming at maiden flight in 2012 and first deliveries in 2014

2 October

Rear-end collision between express and local train in central Java, Indonesia, killed at least 36 passengers

6 October

Korean Ministry of Transport announced completion of dedicated KTX Gyeongbu Line between Seoul and Pusan with start of services at 300 km/h from 1 November

7 October

Channel Tunnel operator Eurostar announced purchase of ten e320 next-generation train sets from Siemens of Germany, marking first purchase of units other than TGV from French builder Alstrom

7 October

China announced start of ultra-long-distance bus service running 3500 km between Jinan City in Shandong Province to Ürümqi in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 45 hours using four drivers

12 October

Bus struck by train on level crossing after ignoring warning signals at Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, killing 42 bus passengers and injury 9 others

13 October

Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Narita Airport Authority, Chiba Prefecture, and nine local city governments attended working group on development of Narita Airport, agreeing to expand annual arrivals and departures from 220,000 to 300,000

15 October

St Gotthard Tunnel (56.7 km) under Swiss Alps broken through to become world’s longest tunnel, supporting full high-speed direct rail services between Germany and Italy from 2017

15 October

Scheduled Airlines Association (Japanese domestic airlines group) expressed opposition to International Solidarity Levy proposed by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help poor developing countries, citing lack of clarity between benefits and costs and cause of lowered international competiveness

16 October

World’s longest ropeway (5.6 km) opened in Syunik, Armenia, to link village with 9th century monastery

19 October

Deutsch Bahn (DB) started test runs of German ICE though Channel Tunnel to London with plans to open services from Amsterdam to London in 2013

20 October

JR Kyushu and JR West announced four daily return through shinkansen services (Mizuho) linking Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-Chuo in 3 hours and 45 minutes using Sanyo and Kyushu shinkansen, starting 12 March 2011

20 October

Seven companies in JR group submitted request to Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Mabuchi opposing government plan to redirect ¥1.5 trillion of surplus profits from JRTT into general budget, instead suggesting using funds to strength finances of JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku and JR Hokkaido

20 October

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Working Group on maglev announced that central route for linear maglev between Tokyo and Osaka planned by JR Central through Southern Alps has better cost performance benefits than roundabout route favoured by local governments, ending discussions on route problem

21 October

New runway D (2500 m) and new international terminal opened at Haneda Airport, Tokyo, marking start of first international flights to 17 cities worldwide from Haneda in 32 years

25 October

Governments of USA and Japan concluded Open Skies Agreement offering deregulation of flights, routes, etc., between Haneda, Tokyo and US airports

25 October

Offshore M7.7 earthquake struck Sumatra, Indonesia, causing tsunami and leaving 449 people dead and 96 missing

26 October

2968-m volcano Mt Merapi in Java, Indonesia, erupted killing at least 34 people on nearby slopes

26 October

JR Central announced outline design plans of L0 carriage for linear maglev shinkansen between Tokyo and Nagoya due to open in 2027; in addition to super aerodynamic design of lead cars, cars will have angular cross section for better passenger convenience with plans to construct four lead cars and 10 trailing cars to run five test train sets over 428 km of new test tracks by late 2013

26 October

Shanghai–Hangzhou High-Speed Railway (202 km) opened, linking Shanghai and Hangzhou (350 km) across Yangtze delta in 45 minutes using worlds fastest CRK380A rolling stock with record speed of 416.6 km/h captured in late September

4 November

Domestic Caribbean Airlines ATR272 crashed and burned in Cuba killing all 68 people on board

4 November

Worlds’ largest all-double decker Airbus A380 operated by Qantas made emergency landing at Changi Airport, Singapore, without injuries after Rolls-Royce engine caught fire. Rolls-Royce admitted failure in the turbine parts. The plane was temporarily grounded by airlines

5 November

British government announced sale of high-speed line (HS-1) between London and Europe (300 km per minuets) through Channel Tunnel for £2.1 billion to Canadian consortium. The line was previously owned by LCR (London and Continental Railways); The consortium will operate the line for 30 years

5 November

Small plane chartered by Italian oil company crashed immediately after takeoff outside Karachi, Pakistan, killing all 21 passengers and crew on board

11 November

JR East announced start of operations of new Hayabusa (Series E5) on Tohoku Shinkansen from 5 March 2011 linking Tokyo and Shin Aomori in 3 hours 10 minutes and offering luxury service with one carriage containing 18 GranClass seats

12 November

Skymark announced intent to start half-price international services between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and London, Frankfurt and New York from 2014 using six doubledecker Airbus A380s, which Skymark announced purchase on the 8th

12 November

The Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency announced that the intermittent eruption of active volcano Mt Merapi (2968 m) in central Java from 26th Oct killed at least 206 people and resulted in evacuation of 380,000 people as well as closure of nearby Yogyakarta Airport due to ash clouds

15 November

China Railways announced completion of laying of rails for high-speed passenger line between Shanghai and Beijing (1318 km) with operations at 380 km/h expected to start in October 2011

15 November

Fire in high-rise building under renovation in Shanghai, China, killed 58 workers with 56 missing and more than 100 others injured

15 November

Collapse of 4-storey residential building undermined by torrential monsoon rains in New Delhi, India, killed 66 people and left 130 people injured

22 November

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced plans to establish joint management of Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport (Itami) from spring 2012; vertical separation business model dividing operations and infrastructure will be used in Kansai, and the operations of the two airports will be integrated to improve Kansai’s finances

22 November

QR National, Queensland’s (Australia) largest coal transporter (2300 km of tracks in 5 states and hauling 260 million tonnes of freight annually) privatized with successful IPO offering worth A$4.63 billion (¥383 billion) on Australian stock market; QR National manages 2300 km track over 5 states, and transports 260 million tonnes per annum

22 November

Stampede at popular Water Festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, left 347 crushed to death and 395 others injured when about 10,000 crowd attending festival panicked at bottleneck on narrow bridge

28 November

Russian-built Ilyushin 76 cargo plane crashed into nearby housing construction site at Karachi Airport, Pakistan, killing 8 crew and 12 people on ground

29 November

The old rollingstock of JR Hokkaido, JR West and JR Kyushu, including 13 Kiha Series 183 carriages, and 14 Series 14 and 24 carriages shipped to Myanmar and Malaysia, as part of assistance agreement with foreign partners

29 November

As part of financial restructuring, JAL announced sale of TFK subsidiary to Singapore airport-services related company SATS for ¥7.8 billion; SATS offers in-flight catering services to 31 airports in 9 Asian countries

29 November

German Airline Lufthansa announced 6-month trial from 4 December of biofuel in one engine of two-engine Airbus A321 services between Frankfurt and Hamburg using aviation fuel mixed with plant oils; fuel costs three to five times more than normal fuel but German government subsidizing part of cost

30 November

JAL received permission from Tokyo District Court for restructuring plan including ¥350 billion in investment, ¥520 billion in debt forgiveness, workforce downsizing, etc., with aim of completing repayment of liabilities by March 2011

3 December

Domestically developed CRH380A high-speed train marked record speed of 486.1 km/h on new Beijing-Shanghai high-speed Line (1318 km) between Shanghai and Beijing, breaking own September record of 416.6 km/h; The line is expected to open for commercial service in October 2011

4 December

Dagestan Airlines Tupolev 154 skidded off runway at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport during emergency landing, killing 2 of 169 people onboard and injuring 80 others

7 December

Seventh World Congress on High Speed Rail opened in Beijing, China, under auspices of UIC (Chairman: Yoshio Ishida (JR East Vice Chairman)) with theme of spearheading green transport; first UIC meeting held outside Europe

7 December

Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) and Chinese Ministry of Transport concluded joint agreement to cooperate more closely in freight transport with aim of strengthening freight infrastructure and building new transport routes between Europe and Asia

7 December

Mitsubishi Electric announced order worth total of US$32 million from Spanish rolling-stock maker CAF for parts for subways in Mexico, bringing Mitsubishi’s share of this market to 70%

8 December

Chinese Railways announced joint business venture with French rolling-stock maker Alstom to jointly develop rolling stock and signalling system

14 December

IATA announced 2011 profit forecast for world airlines of US$9.1 billion, 40% year-on-year decrease due to impact of drop in passenger numbers in Europe, and rising fuel costs

15 December

Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLITT) working group on new linear maglev shinkansen planned by JR Central announced interim report on Southern Alps (Direct) Route, supporting JR Central’s choice out of three routes with submission of findings to MLITT minister in Spring 2011

15 December

Light plane crashed in mountainous region of eastern Tibet, killing all 22 people onboard

15 December

Small wooden fishing boat carrying some 80 asylum seekers broke up on rocks in high seas off coast of Christmas Island in Indian Ocean west of Australia, drowning at least 27 people with 41 others rescued

16 December

Nippon Sharyo and Sumitomo Trading announced US$58 million order for 18 diesel railcars to operate on Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) system in California; aim to obtain additional orders for 146 cars over 5 years from five railway operators including SMART

16 December

Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) started operating Expressway bus return services once each day between Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and Shinjuku Station West Exit and Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT), powered by world-first high-pressure hydrogen fuel cell

16 December

Head-on collision on snow-covered expressway involving large tourist bus near Hangzhou City, China, left 6 people dead and more than 10 others injured

17 December

Fujitsu and Boeing announced joint development of aviation parts management system using IC tags

19 December

AVE High-speed Valencia Line (438 km) opened by RENFE between Madrid and Barcelona, increasing total Spanish high-speed network to 2056 km to become longest in Europe and surpassing French network length of 1896 km

20 December

Double-decker bus carrying 37 Thai tourists hit center divide on expressway in Perak State, Malaysia, killing 27 people

21 December

Honda announced successful test flight of executive Hondajet now in development with length of 12.7 m and wingspan of 12.1 m designed to carry 7 or 8 people with range of 2100 km; first deliveries expected from second half of FY2012

22 December

Yiwan Railway Line (377 km) linking Chongqing City and Yichang City, China, opened 100 years after first proposal with 74% of length in tunnel and over bridges and described as world’s most difficult railway construction project

24 December

Bus carrying people returning home for Christmas in west Ecuador overturned and rolled down cliff, killing 41 passengers and injuring more than 20 others

25 December

Heavy truck slipped on snow-covered road in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, causing 12-km tailback with about 300 vehicles stranded all night

25 December

Bus carrying people returning from funeral collided with government bus in Uttar Pradesh State, northern India, killing 36 people and injuring 28 others

27 December

Agricultural vehicle carrying 20 elementary children on foggy road overturned into river in Hunan Province, China, killing 14

27 December

Tobu Rai lway announced name change for Narihirabashi Station on Isezaki Line to Tokyo Skytree Station to celebrate opening of Tokyo Skytree digital communications tower in spring 2012 with station reform to support more customers visiting area

29 December

Incheon Airport Railway (58 km) linking Kimpo International Airport and Incheon International Airport with Seoul Station, Korea, fully opened to complete first (37.6 km) stage opened in March 2007 and shortening through operations between Seoul and Incheon to 43 minutes with links to KTX Korean highspeed train at Seoul

30 December

Subway Line 5 (108 km) opened in north Beijing, China, to extend total length of Beijing’s subways to 336 km, exceeding Tokyo’s 304 km

31 December

Restructuring JAL announced redundancy notices for 80 pilots, 60 cabin crew and 30 support staff as part of plans to downsize group staffing levels for 16,000 employees worldwide

31 December

Record snow falls in Tottori and Shimane prefectures, Japan, blocked roads and rail lines with New Year’s Day services suspended between 18 stations on JR West’s San’in and Hakubi lines