Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 59 (topics)

August–December 2011

5 August

JR Central announced candidate stations for central section of Linear Maglev running between Tokyo and Nagoya (286 km) centred on Takamori Town in north region of Iida City in Nagano Prefecture

9 August

Antonov-12 cargo plane operated by Khabarovsk airline company Avis Amur crashed in far eastern Russia at Magadan, killing 11 people onboard

9 August

Two-storey, old red-brick and domed Seoul Railway Station Building dating from 1925 restored and reopened; Korean KTX opened in 2004 operates from a new station terminus

9 August

Bus ran off mountain road in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, killing 6 people and injuring 26 others

10 August

China Railway Ministry announced 50-km/h operating speed reduction for high-speed lines and freeze on new construction plans as countermeasures to improve safety following July train collision on elevated high-speed line

10 August

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced additional change of visa rules, relaxing income requirement and increasing period of stay to 30 days for Chinese tourists visiting Japan from 1 September

11 August

JR East announced return to normal operations from 23 September for sections of Tohoku Shinkansen damaged by Great East Japan Earthquake, shortening Hayabusa journeys between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori by 20 minutes and returning fastest time to 3 hours and 10 minutes

12 August

Heavily loaded, four-car trainset carrying some 280 people derailed in Baby, central Poland, after leaving Warsaw; killed at least one person and injuring 70 others

15 August

Bus carrying Taiwanese tourists collided with car on expressway in Jilin Province, China, overturning and killing 4 people with 15 others injured

16 August

JAL and Australian Qantas group announced September establishment of new low-cost carrier (LCC) called JetStar Japan in business venture with Mitsubishi Trading to operate both domestic and international services from mid-2012; new company a subsidiary of Quantas LCC JetStar; ANA already proceeding with incorporation and investment in two companies

17 August

Boat carrying 21 tourists on Tenryugawa in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, overturned, drowning 4 passengers and 5 crew; boat operated by third-sector railway company formed after privatization of old JNR

19 August

Japan Tourism Agency announced formation of working group to help promote recovery for foreign inbound tourism following drop after Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear accident by promoting tourism products in cooperation with Federation of Economic
Organizations, Japan Travel Agency Association, prefectural governors, etc.

20 August

Charter Boeing B737-200 belonging to First Air crashed in Canadian Arctic region in Nunavut, killing 12 of 15 people onboard and injuring 3 others

24 August

Japan Ministry or Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced start of simultaneous takeoffs from two runways at New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) from 20 October, increasing takeoff slots per hour from 32 to 46 and annual departures from 220,000 to 230,500

25 August

American carrier Delta announced purchase of 100 medium-range B737-900ER jets from Boeing with delivery of first 12 starting from second half of FY2013 and continuing until 2018 to replace aging units with poor fuel efficiency

25 August

Kinki Nihon Railway announced new name (Abeno-Harukas) for 60-storey, high-rise (approx. 300 m) building now under construction in Abe, Osaka, with opening planned in spring 2014 as Japan’s tallest building

25 August

US Boeing Corporation announced receipt of airworthiness certificates for its latest B787 Dreamliner from FAA and EASA; launch customer ANA to accept delivery of No.1 unit on 25 September followed by arrival at Haneda Airport on 28 September and first
commercial flights to start on 1 January 2012 between Haneda, Okayama/Hiroshima

26 August

NEXCO Japan announced summer 2012 opening of Hamamatsu-to-Gotemba section (162 km) on new Tomei Expressway now under construction between Ebina and Toyota (254 km)

27 August

Tram overturned in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and slipped down slope to strike utility pole, killing 5 people and injuring 50 others

28 August

Bus collided in poor visibility due to fog with truck stopped on roadside in Heibei Province, China, killing 18 passengers and injuring 17 others; bus had 17 passenger capacity, but 34 onboard

31 August

All Nippon Airways established second low-cost carrier (LCC) Air Asia Japan with plans to start domestic and international services from Tokyo’s Narita Airport from August 2012; second LCC following investment in LCC Peach Aviation based at Kansai International Airport; Air Asia Japan joint venture with Malaysia’s Air Asia

2 September

Mr Takeshi Maeda appointed new Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Noda Cabinet following resignation of Prime Minister Kan

7 September

Yakoburev 42 carrying Russian ice hockey team crashed soon after takeoff near Yaroslavl northeast of Moscow, Russia, killing 43 of 45 people on board

11 September

Expressway bus in collision with tanker truck in Anhui Province, China, killing 9 people and injuring 26 others

13 September

Passenger train standing at signal in rear-end collision with another train in Tamil Nadu, India, killing 9 people and injuring more than 100 others

13 September

Commuter train in collision with bus on crossing near Buenos Aries, Argentina, derailing train and causing collision with oncoming train from other direction, killing 11 people including bus driver and injuring more than 210 others

14 September

Shuttle bus carrying workers overturned near Shanghai, China, killing 11 of 24 people on board and injuring remaining 13

16 September

World War II era P-51 Mustang fighter crashed during airshow killing pilot and 8 other people on ground

20 September

IATA announced revised 2011 consolidated profit forecast of US$6.9 billion for world’s airlines compared to June forecast of $4.0 billion due to increased passenger traffic to Europe as result of weak euro

20 September

Japanese government approved ministerial ordinance establishing management company with responsibility for managing new integrated Kansai International Airport and Osaka Airport based on law enacted this April; Government will establish land and infrastructure holding company and management rights sold to private sector

25 September

ANA took to delivery of first new Boeing B787 in advance of world’s first commercial charter B787 flight between New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) and Hong Kong on 26 October followed by regular services from 1 November between Haneda, Hiroshima and Okayama

25 September

Sendai Airport Building returned to full operations with international flights to Seoul, Korea, following damage from tsunami after Great East Japan Earthquake; airport access railway link between Sendai Station and airport resumed full operations from 1 October

25 September

Light aircraft taking sightseers to Mount Everest near Kathmandu, Nepal, crashed killing all 19 people onboard

27 September

Subway trains collided on Line 10 of Shanghai Metro (420 km at Line 11 completion) after signalling system failure, injuring 284 people

28 September

Light CASA21 aircraft crashed in northeast Sumatra, Indonesia, killing all 18 people on board

1 October

Charter bus crashed into guard rail in Hubei Province, China, and rolled 60 m down embankment into river, drowning 16 of 35 people and injuring 19 others

3 October

AS350B3 helicopter carrying materials for mountain road crashed and caught fire near Kiyokawa Mura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, killing pilot and injuring other crew

4 October

Seven operators in JR group and other railway operators announced 1 November establishment of Japan Consultants (JIC) targeting transfer of railway technology overseas with 54% investment by JR East, 21% each by JR West and Tokyo Metro, and 1% each by JR Kyushu, JR Freight, Tokyu Railway, and Keihan Railway

4 October

Helicopter crashed after takeoff into East River near Manhattan Island, USA, killing one female passenger of five onboard

7 October

Large bus crashed into passenger vehicle on expressway in Tianjin, China, killing at least 35 people

7 October

Tour bus carrying foreign tourists overturned near Ciater on Java, Indonesia, killing 4 of 12 people onboard

10 October

JR East started operation of ATACS wireless train control system on 17-km section (Aobadori–Higashi-Shiogama) of Senseki Line in Miyagi Prefecture as world first commercial operation on railway line

11 October

Towada Kanko Railway (Towada City, Aomori Prefecture) announced closure of 14.7 km between Misawa and Towada City in March 2012 with substitution of bus service due to decrease in users resulting in operating losses

13 October

Bus ran over cliff into river in eastern Nepal, killing at least 42 people and injuring 16 others

14 October

Deutsche Bahn (DBAG) announced fare increases (+3.9% for long-distance services and +2.7% for suburban trains) in combination with timetable revision due to rising labour and fuel costs

18 October

IHI announced joint order for Automated People Mover (APM) for Hong Kong International Airport in partnership with Niigata Transys to supply rails, rolling stock, signalling, and communications equipment

19 October

British Aircraft Authority (BAA) announced sale of Edinburgh Airport on recommendation of competition authorities (with bid winner announced in summer 2012) to eliminate monopoly accusations; BAA required to sell London Gatwick and Stanstead airports but proposing disposal of either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport first

20 October

JR Central announced withdrawal of series 300 rolling stock from Tokaido and San’yo shinkansen in summer 2012 with replacement by new N700 series operating at 270 km/h; third-generation, series 300 debuted as Nozomi  in 1992 operating at 270 km/h

20 October

New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) started simultaneous departures and arrivals on two parallel runways, increasing capacity from 32 slots to 46 slots per hour or annual increase of 15,000 to 235,000

20 October

Bangalore Metro high-speed train started operations in Bangalore, India, with partial opening of 6.7 km section between Bayappanahalli and MG Road on Line 1 (42.3 km) with completion scheduled for 2013, making Bangalore third Indian city with metro

22 October

Suspension bridge (46 m) collapsed in Bengal, northeast India, killing at least 32 people and injuring 60 others

23 October

Eastern Turkey struck by Richter M7.2 earthquake, killing at least 601 people

24 October

Taxi collided with fence alongside Yokosuka Line in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan, and fell onto tracks 7.5 m below to be struck by down-line train, killing taxi driver and seriously injuring passenger and closing both up and down lines until next day to delay 65,000 passengers

26 October

ANA operated new medium-range Boeing 787 charter flight between Narita and Hong Kong; 787 airframe uses carbon-fiber composites to lighten plane and greatly increase fuel efficiency offering same flight range as larger planes. ANA to start services between Haneda
and Okayama/Hiroshima in November, Haneda and Beijing in December, and Haneda and Frankfurt in January 2012 with future delivery of 55 planes to ANA and 35 to JAL

27 October

Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Rail Gauge Technology Evaluation Working Group reported on basic running performance of free-gauge train (FGT) targeting commercial operations based on running tests through curves on narrow-gauge lines with aim of future through operations on Nagasaki route of Kyushu Shinkansen; tests now progressing to 1 year of 10,000 km of running endurance tests on JR Shikoku Yosan Line

28 October

Korea Railroad (Korail) opened 17.3-km section of Sin Bundang Line between Jeongja Station and Gangnam Station near Seoul as part of new 24.8-km line linking Yongsan Station with Jeongja in Seongnam, Gyeonggi province

29 October

Freight car carrying workers overturned in railway tunnel under construction in Gansu Province, China, killing 23 and injuring 5 others

31 October

JR Kyushu won Japan’s first ever Jury Prize for Overall Design Excellence at Brunel Awards 2011; also awarded four special commendations in rolling stock division for N700 design (also used by JR West)

31 October

Qantas restarted all flights stopped by crew labour strike following government order to arbitrate dispute with 21-day freeze on further strikes during negotiations

1 November

B767-300 made emergency landing at Warsaw International Airport, Poland, when wheels failed to come down; all 231 passengers and crew escaped unharmed

1 November

California, USA, High Speed Rail Authority (HRA) announced 13-year postponement from first target date of 2020 to 2033 for start of high-speed rail services between San Francisco and Anaheim (about 800 km) due to unclear economic circumstances

2 November

Mitsubishi Heavy Engineering announced conclusion of second contract for large passenger cruise liner (125,000 gross tonnes, 3520 passengers and crew) from AIDA Cruises following order from US cruise liner operator Carnival Cruise Lines in same business group;
will be largest ship ever made by Mitsubishi Heavy Engineering; construction will be at Nagasaki Shipyard

3 November

Sanriku Railway held groundbreaking and prayers for safety ceremony to mark start of work to restore lines damaged by Great East Japan Earthquake; disaster destroyed two thirds of lines (107.6km); all lines expected to be restored to normal operations by April 2014

4 November

German airline Lufthansa announced successful conclusion of basic agreement to sell British Midland International (BMI) to IAG holding company of British Airways (BA); IAG plans to increase slots at London Heathrow with BMI purchase

4 November

Thirty-four vehicle pile up on motorway in Somerset, England, left 7 people dead and 51 injured

8 November

Museum of Maritime Science (Tokyo) announced donation of Youtei Maru (8311 tonnes) ferry following removal from exhibition on 30 September to Ehime Toyo Ship Recycling Research Group in Ehime Prefecture;Youtei Maru launched in Italy in 1965 and served on
Seikan Strait crossing between Aomori and Hakodate until Seikan Tunnel opened in 1988

10 November

Airbus announced production stop of 4-engine longrange A340 which has better fuel consumption than rivaling B777; 365 units of A340 is still flying, but no new sales for almost 2 years. Airbus annual deliveries better than Boeing for 8 years

10 November

Tour helicopter crashed on Molokai Island, Hawaii, killing all 5 people onboard

11 November

Helicopter carrying 8 people including Mexican government minister crashed in suburbs of Mexico City, killing all onboard

12 November

Emirates Airlines of Dubai ordered 50 twin-engine longrange Boeing B777-300ER units worth $18 billion

12 November

Korean fishing boat collided with Korean freighter and overturned near Chungcheongnam-do, leaving 8 fisherman missing and 1 rescued

14 November

EU shelved decision to introduce full-body scanners at all airports in region; US required early introduction as terror countermeasure following failed bomb incident but EU prioritized protection of personal rights, giving responsibility to each member state and airport

15 November

Qatar Airways announced order for 50 units of small Airbus A320neo now in development and 5 units of wide-body, double-deck 4-engine A380 in deal worth total of $6.5 billion

16 November

Kindergarten 9-seater bus and truck in head-on collision in Gansu Province, China, killing 21 children and injuring 43 others; bus modified to carry 64 people

18 November

Boeing announced $21.7 billion order for 230 units of small B737 from Indonesia’s biggest private airline operator Lion Air, composed of 29 units of nextgeneration B737-900ER and 201 units of upgraded B737MAX; Boeing’s biggest commercial airplane order ever, surpassing $18 billion order from Emirates Airlines on 12 November

21 November

JR Central announced construction cost of ¥590 billion ($1 = ¥77) for 6 stations on new Maglev shinkansen planned between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and withdrew previous requests to trackside governments in 6 prefectures to finance construction; Tokyo–Nagoya
section scheduled to open in 2027 following start of work in FY2014

22 November

Early morning express train caught fire in Jharkand Province, India, killing at least 7 people

25 November

To reduce costs, ANA announced unification from 1 April 2012 with Air Nippon 100%-owned subsidiary operating small domestic jet services under same brand since 2002

26 November

Longest suspension bridge (710 m) in Indonesia crossing Mahakani River on Kalimantan Island suddenly collapsed, dropping vehicles and pedestrians into river, leaving 13 people dead and 26 missing

28 November

Tokyu Railway announced 26 April 2012 opening of Shibuya Hikarie high-rise multiplex now under construction adjacent to Shibuya Station with 34 floors above ground and 4 underground, housing commercial facilities including event spaces, music theatre, offices, shopping mall, etc.

29 November

AMR holding company of American Airlines (third largest in US) announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing with New York courts; code sharing, etc., agreements with JAL to continue but cost structure, such as labour, to be reviewed according to legal regulations. US airline industry seen large cost-cutting measures including Chapter 11 filings by United in 2002, and Delta in 2005
as well as mergers between Delta and Northwest in 2008 and United and Continental in 2010

30 November

Head-on collision between medium-size bus and truck in Hainan Province, China, killed 11 people including both drivers and left 13 people injured

3 December

JR Central and JR West Kisei main line section resumed operations between Kiikatsuura and Shingu (14.9 km) 3 months after being partially washed away by Typhoon 13 in September 2011, stopping operations between Shirohama and Shingu

3 December

Head-on collision between bus carrying agricultural workers and truck in northeast Brazil killed at least 36 people and injured 13 others

5 December

Working group established to manage integration of Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport as New Kansai International Airport Corporation with members from related agencies including viceministers, regional government heads, leaders of
economic organisation to form new company board in April 2012

6 December

Bus ran off road into river in Chamdo Province, Tibetan Semi-Autonomous Region of China, killing 12 of 19 people onboard, injuring 2, and leaving 5 missing

7 December

IATA announced 49% year-on-year forecast drop in profits for 2012 year end of $3.5 billion for world’s major airlines due to stall in European demand resulting from debt crisis; downward revision of $4.9 billion forecast in September and suggesting possible worst-case losses of $8.3 billion if European crisis deepens

7 December

US Delta Airlines announced long-term business agreement with large Brazilian airline GOL to offer services such as code-sharing flights between each other and elsewhere, and to offer passenger services; Delta planning to participate in Brazilian domestic market and GOL planning international services in Central and S. America

7 December

Bus carrying 47 people failed to avoid oncoming truck near Guangxi City in western China to overturn and fall into ravine, killing 7 people and injuring 9 others

9 December

Last KORAIL passenger train of day running to Inchon, Korea, struck 6 track workers, killing 5 and injuring 1; workers on track before service for day erminated

10 December

Light plane crashed in slum housing on outskirts of Manila, Philippines, killing 3 people onboard and 10 people on ground including children

12 December

School bus carrying 29 elementary school children near Jiangsu Province, China, failed to avoid pedal tricyclist, overturned and killed 15 children

12 December

Russian Railways (RR) started direct passenger service between Moscow and Paris via Berlin; Belarus to Paris Gare de l’Est takes some 38 hours to cover 3177 km; second longest railway line in Europe after similar direct passenger service, Moscow-Nice (via Vienna) line relaunched in 2010 for first time in 100 years

13 December

New rolling stock (Italo) for Italy’s first private highspeed line, Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (New Passenger Transport System) in Ferrari-red livery exhibited at maintenance yard in outskirts of Naples with service expected to start at 300 km/h in 2012 between Turin and San Remo, and Venice and Rome

13 December

Boeing announced confirmed order for 208 units of small B737 jet from US Southwest Airlines worth $19 billion and Boeing’s largest ever order; 150 737MAX units powered by new engine plant while other 58 units to be next-generation 737 model. All Southwest aircraft 737s to achieve fuel efficient

14 December

Government of Brazil approved business merger between Brazilian airline TAM and Chilean airline LAN; both companies already announced intended merger in August 2010 and Chilean government already approved plans. Merger creates S. America’s largest air carrier and 10th largest airline in world. TAM belongs to Star Alliance while LAN belongs to rival One World Alliance, requiring future withdrawal from one group

14 December

New design, fuel-efficient, red, London double-decker bus exhibited in Trafalgar Square, London before entering service in February 2012 for London Olympics

17 December

Smugglers’ boat en route to Christmas Island, Australia, heavily overloaded with illegal immigrants sank off southeast Java, Indonesia, leaving at least 217 missing and 33 rescued; overloaded with 250 on 100 capacity boat

17 December

Direct typhoon strike on Mindanao, Philippines, caused widespread flooding and landslides, leaving about 1000 people dead

18 December

Oil and gas platform overturned in Sea of Okhotsk in Russian Far East near Sakhalin, leaving 36 crew missing, 17 died and 14 rescued; rescue efforts terminated on 22nd

19 December

New airport opened at Nepido, Myanmar, with capacity for 65,000 departures and arrivals handling 5 million passengers and larger than Yangon International Airport

20 December

New York City announced tourism to NYC expected to reach 50 million people for first time ever with year-end final figure expected to reach 50.2 million composed of 10.1 million (+4%) from overseas and 40.1 million (+2.9%) domestic visitors

22 December

German Airline Lufthansa sold British Midland Airlines (BMI) to British Airways parent group IAG for £177 million, giving IAG 56 new slots at LHR, and blocking Virgin Atlantic’s plans to buy BMI

25 December

Chinese rolling stock builder CSR Corporation announced new prototype CRH380A rolling stock capable of exceeding 500 km/h based on technology originally developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industry.

26 December

New high-speed train service started between Guangzhou City and Shenzhen City (102 km) running at 300 km/h with plans to extend services to Hong Kong

26 December

Government of Korea announced photograph and fingerprint immigration controls for all entering foreigners aged 17 and over from 1 January 2012; countries such as Japan and USA already collect fingerprints from entering foreigners

28 December

Kyrgyzstan Airlines Tupolev 134 carrying 88 passengers and crew crashed, overturned and burned on landing near Osh Airport in southern Kyrgyz, injuring 31 people but without loss of life

31 December

Subway Line No. 4 opened in Beijing, China, extending total length of city’s subway lines to 372 km


Mr Yoshio Takeuchi
First President of Kansai International Airport from 1984 to 1991 died, aged 88; after graduating in Civil Engineering from University of Tokyo in 1946, joined old JNR before retirement as Director of Ports and Harbour Authority in 1976

Mr Takeshi Maeda
Appointed Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in new cabinet of Prime Minister Noda on 2 September. Joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating from University of Kyoto postgraduate school in 1964 and first elected to House of Representatives in 1986 with four subsequent re-elections

Mr Shunjiro Kuma
Died aged 90 on 9 September. Joined Hanshin Electric Railway in 1946 after graduating in law from Tokyo Imperial University, before becoming Board Director in 1978, President in 1982, and Chairman from 1922 until 2004. Owner of Hanshin Tigers professional baseball team for 21 years

Mr Masafumi Shukuri
Appointed Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1974 after graduating in law from Tokyo University. Held various senior posts in ministry before appointment as Assistant Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2008

Mr Takeshi Kitamura
Appointed Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1976 after graduating in law from Kyoto University. Held various senior posts in ministry before appointment as Director-General, Policy Bureau in 2010

Mr Masahiro Nakajima
Appointed Director-General of Policy Bureau on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Construction in 1975 after graduating in law from Kyoto University. Held various senior posts in ministry before appointment as Director-General of National and Regional Policy Bureau in 2011

Mr Ainosuke Kojima
Appointed Director-General of Policy Bureau in Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Graduated in economics from Keio University in 1976 before joining Economic Planning Agency in 1977. Held various senior government and cabinet positions before appointment as Director-General for Policy Planning in 2008

Mr Masao Omori
Appointed Director-General in Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Construction in 1977 after graduating in economics from Tokyo Medical University. Held various senior government positions before appointment as Vice-Minister for Construction, Engineering and Real Estate Industry in 2010

Mr Masaru Honda
Appointed Deputy Vice-Minister, Minister’s Secretariat on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1976 after graduating in law from Tokyo University. Held various senior government positions before appointment as Director-General, Civil Aviation Bureau in 2010

Mr Futoshi Osada
Appointed Director-General, Civil Aviation Bureau in Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1976 after graduating in law from Kyoto University. Held various senior government positions before appointment as Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, Minister’s Secretariat in 2009

Mr Hiroshi Hayashida
Appointed Deputy Minister for Technical Affairs, Minister’s Secretariat in Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1978 after graduating in engineering from Kyoto University postgraduate school. Held various senior government positions before appointment as Director-General, Port and Harbors Bureau in 2009

Mr Norihiko Yamagata
Appointed Director-General of Port and Harbors Bureau in Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1977 after graduating in engineering from Kyoto University. Held various senior government positions before appointment as Deputy Director-General for Engineering Affairs, Port and Harbors Bureau in 2009

Mr Masato Mori
Appointed Deputy Vice-Minister for Transport Safety Policy on 16 September. Joined old Ministry of Transport in 1980 after graduating in engineering from Tokyo University postgraduate school. Held various senior government positions before appointment as Deputy Director-General for Engineering Affairs in 2009

Mr Ryoichi Matsuyama
Appointed Board Chairman of Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) on 1 October. Joined Mitsui Bussan after graduating from University of Tokyo Faculty of Economics in 1972 where held various senior management posts before appointment as Japanese Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to Botswana in June 2008

Mr Seitaro Taniguchi
Died on 17 October aged 88 years. Joined Nagoya Railroad in 1946 after graduating from Faculty of Agriculture at Beijing University in 1944. Held various senior management positions from 1966 before becoming President in 1988 and Chairman from 1994 to 1999. President of Nagoya Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1993 to 2000 where worked to promote Aichi Expo and Chubu International Airport

Mr Akio Koike
Reappointed President of JR Hokkaido on 25 November following death of President Naotoshi Nakajima in September; joined JNR after graduating from Faculty of Economics at University of Tokyo and held various senior management posts at JR Hokkaido from 1994 to 2003 before first appointment as President from 2003 to 2007 and then Chairman with representative rights from 2007