Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 60 (topics)

January–July 2011

4 January

Japanese National Police Agency announced 252 decrease in number of people killed in car accidents in 2011 compared to 2010 (5.2% year-on-year decrease), marking 11th straight year of decreases since 2001; road accidents also decreased by 34,866 to 690,907, first time in 19 years the number was less than 700,000

5 January

Baluarte Bridge under construction in Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in western Mexico recorded by Guinness Book of World Records as world's highest cable-stayed bridge at 402 meters above ground level

7 January

Hot air balloon crashed and burned in outskirts of Carterton, North Island, New Zealand, killing all 11 people on board

10 January

UK government confirmed plan to build new high-speed line linking London and Birmingham (HS2) in 49 minutes (current journey time 1 hour 23 minutes) with completion scheduled by 2026 and future extension to Manchester and Leeds

13 January

Seminar on high-speed railways opened in New Delhi, India, with sponsorship by Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as participation by JR East President Satoshi Seino and JR Central Senior Executive Director Tsutomu Morimura to explain impact of high-speed railway technologies and infrastructure; India has plans to open six high-speed lines

13 January

Costa Concordia cruise liner (290 m,114,500 tones) with 4229 passengers onboard ran aground and overturned near central Italian coast, drowning at least 17 people and leaving 15 others missing

15 January

Korean registered tanker (4191 tonnes) exploded and broke in half in Yellow Sea, killing 5 of 16 crew and leaving 6 missing

17 January

Airbus Industrie announced record deliveries and confirmed orders for 2011 of 534 deliveries (compared to 510 in previous year) and 1419 confirmed orders (compared to 574 in previous year); Boeing announced 477 deliveries (462 in previous year) and 805 confirmed orders (530 in previous year)–9th successive year Boeing deliveries fell below Airbus figures

17 January

Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited, and Sumitomo Corporation announced joint purchase of aircraft leasing business from UK Royal Bank of Scotland for $7.2 billion, including acceptance of outstanding liabilities

18 January

Mitsui& Co., Ltd announced participation in Russian rolling stock lease business through establishment of joint venture with local business group ICT; lease business to start in April with 1000 freight wagons for hauling limestone and iron ore to meet increasing demand for freight haulage by Russian business. Mitsui, which first started leasing freight wagons in US in 1996, now leases 270 locomotives and 17,000 freight wagons in N. America, Europe and Brazil

20 January

Japan National Tourism Organization announced huge 27.8% year-on-year decrease in inbound foreign visitor figures dropping to 6.219 million due to effects of tsunami and nuclear disaster following Great East Japan Earthquake and high yen exchange rate. By comparison, outbound Japanese tourists increased for second year in succession by 2.1% year-on-year to 16.993 million. First half after disaster dropped by 3.5% but reversed to 7.2% in second half

21 January

Passenger boat stopped in Strait of Hormuz due to fuel shortage hit by high wave and overturned, drowning 16 of passengers with 5 others rescued and 1 missing

23 January

ANA and JAL announced award as world number one airlines for on-time arrival (within 15 minutes of schedule) from US Conducive Technologies; individually ANA maintained top score for second year running with 90.18% followed by JAL with 90.14%; JAL was top in the new category of awards including regional airline operated and codeshare flights

25 January

20-storey building under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, collapsed to bring down adjacent 10- and 4-storey buildings with 17 confirmed dead and 22 others missing

27 January

Central Nippon Expressway Company announced 14 April 2012 opening of New Tomei Expressway between Gotemba and Mikkabi junctions (161.9 km) as first section of new expressway to be completed in 2020

31 January

17 tanker wagons of freight train (68 wagons) bound for Nahotka derailed in Bureya District, Amur Oblast in Russian Far East, with 13 wagons catching fire

1 February

IATA announced 6.9% year-on-year increase in 2011 international air traffic and second consecutive increase, attributed mainly to factors such as increased demand in the first six months of the second year due to devalued Euro; by region, Central and South America increased 10.2%, EU 9.5%, Asia-Pacific 4.1%, and North America 4.0%.

2 February

ANA-related low-cost carrier AirAsia Japan announced receipt of business licence from Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism with domestic services expected to start from Narita International Airport on 1 August 2012 followed by international services on 1 October.

6 February

JR West announced transfer of 15 kiha 181 diesel railcars used previously on San'in express services to Myanmar with first lot of 7 cars to ship on same day from Shimonoseki Port.

7 February

JR East announced final running tests of low environmental impact storage battery drive system developed for use on non-electrified rail sections; the test will be conducted on Karasuyama Line in February/March 2012.

7 February

Russian freighter (2163 tonnes) collided with Singaporean container ship (6245 tonnes) in eastern section of Niigata Port before overturning and sinking; all 17 Russian crew rescued safely.

8 February

Japan Tourism Agency announced 2016 inbound tourism target of 18 million visitors—2 million downward revision; 2011 figures dropped to 6.22 million due to impact of Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Accident followed by cooling of demand in second half due to rising value of yen.

8 February

JAL announced application to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for exemption from Antitrust Law (ATI) aimed at development of code-sharing and freight agreements with British Airways (BA) between Europe and Japan; ANA and Lufthansa already have code-sharing agreements.

8 February

Australian flag-carrier Qantas and JAL announced start of services by joint venture JetStar Japan low-cost carrier on 3 July 2012 from Narita International Airport to Shin-Chitose, Kansai, Fukuoka, and Naha airports, assuming Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism grants permission.

8 February

Kobe Electric Railway announced plans to continue running services for next 3 years on Ao Line (Suzurandai to Ao, 29.2 km) despite chronic business losses; Kobe Electric received ¥4 billion in interest-free loans from prefecture, etc.

8 February

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced development of freight vessel designed to lessen the risk of capsizing in accident and receipt of order for RORO version to handle large trailers from Nippon Shipping subsidiary of Nippon Express; design assures stability by flooding lower holds not used as cargo space with seawater when the ship is submerged during emergency

8 February

European Aviation Safety Agency announced Emergency Airworthiness Directive aimed at world's largest A380 Airbus after discovery of cracks on the wings on several aircraft; ordered maker Airbus to perform safety check on all sixty-eight A380 aircraft now in service worldwide.

8 February

Tokyo Gate Bridge (2.6 km) opened to link Outer Central Breakwater Landfill Site with Wakasu in Koto Ward to both eliminate jams in central Tokyo as well as offer scenic views from bridge.

14 February

Boeing announced order from large Indonesian airline Lion Air for 201 units of upgraded small 737MAX airliner and 29 units of next-generation 737-900ER worth total of $22.4 billion, highest ever commercial order value and number of units; Lion Air also took option on further 150 units.

14 February

Airports Council International awarded Korea's Incheon Airport with World's Best Airport Prize for seventh consecutive year since 2005 in 2011 World Airport Service Quality Competition.

16 February

Sumitomo Corporation and Nippon Sharyo announced order for 50 double-deck passenger carriages named Gallery Type units with open space between the two sides of the upper deck from Virginia Railway Express (VRE) with 42 as option worth $119 million; VRE already accepted delivery of 71 total carriages; including other states exceed 600 units.

16 February

Six of eight mine-cars at coalmine in Hunan Province, China, uncoupled and ran out of control on downgrade, killing 15 of 18 people onboard.

17 February

Niigata Prefecture and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism agreed joint payment for construction of Hokuriku Shinkansen between Nagano and Kanazawa as well as costs for maintaining parallel narrow-gauge line; prefecture to pay ¥23.5 billion still outstanding from FY2010 and FY2011 while government to pay ¥78.0 billion for 30 years after line opening as heavy-snow financial assistance.

17 February

ANA announced transfer of shareholding from April 2013 to two low-cost carriers starting businesses in 2013 to help company growth and expansion of international services.

18 February

Tourist bus overturned in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China, killing 9 of 37 people onboard and injuring 24 others.

20 February

Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced 5.3% year-on-year decrease in number of passports issued in 2011 to 3,961,382 due to effect of Great East Japan Earthquake in March causing large drop in applications in April but with some recovery in August; by age group, applications increased for 29 and under.

22 February

Crowded commuter train (8 carriages) collided with train standing at Once Station near Buenos Aries, Argentina, killing at least 49 people and injuring more than 600 others; cause attributed to brake failure.

25 February

Large highway bus ran off road into gulley in Shanxi Province, China, and overturned, killing 15 of 34 people onboard and injuring 19 others.

26 February

Six-car train derailed near Burlington, Ontario, Canada, killing 3 crew and injuring more than 40 passengers.

1 March

Third-sector rail operator Tenryu Hamanako Railroad applied to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism for tour boat business closure on 31 January following fatal accident in August 2011 and subsequent withdrawal from tour boat business sector

2 March

NEC announced large order for Automatic Bus Stop Announcement (ABSA) and Data Logger systems from Hong Kong city bus operator and large bus operator NWFB for total of 180 city buses and 700 NWFB buses―both operators members of NWS Transport Services; NEC Hong Kong already shipped ABSA to some of 760 city buses in 2011

2 March

Boeing announced completion ceremony marking rollout of 1000th Boeing 777 at Boeing Everett plant in Washington State, USA, for delivery to Emirates Airlines (UAE); first 777 entered service with United Airlines in June 1995 with subsequent orders for 1361 units from 64 airlines to date

3 March

Head-on collision between a four-car passenger train and six-car passenger trains carrying 350 people in Szczekociny, south Poland, killed at least 16 people and injured 60 others

3 March

Heavy truck overturned into ravine in Guinea after brakes failed while running downhill, killing 50 people and injuring 27 others

6 March

JR East announced plans to spend100 billion yen on earthquake safety countermeasures such as strengthening elevated section pillars and earthquake monitoring systems with completion in 3 to 5 years and in addition to 128 billion yen already spent on safety countermeasures up to March 2012

6 March

JR East announced new name (effective 2 April) of Japan Transport Engineering Company (J-TREC) for Tokyu Car Corporation purchased from Tokyu Corporation

7 March

Toshiba announced order from a Korean company, Rotem for 31 sets of motors and power system parts for 8500 series electric freight trains destined for Korail, worth total of 3 billion yen and following contract with Toshiba to deliver electrical parts for 56 wagons in 2010

11 March

Freight train with 25 wagons derailed on Siberian Railway in Russian Far East after bogie failure and collided with oncoming freight train, injuring drivers and crew of both trains

12 March

Tokyu Railway announced signing of railway business cooperation agreement with Seoul Metropolitan Railway (SMR) of Korea, covering technical cooperation, including railway infrastructure and safety maintenance and mutual promotion of tourism; SMR operates four lines totalling 152.5 km in Seoul's subway network of 9 lines.

12 March

Paris Airport Authority (ADP) announced merger with Turkish airport operator TVA Airport Holdings taking 38% share of company worth US$874 million in management agreement covering 37 airports worldwide directly and indirectly servicing 180 million passengers annually

13 March

Passenger ferry collided with freighter in Meghna River, east of Dacca, Bangladesh, and sank, killing at least 122 people and 35 rescued; the total number of passengers and crew are not known

13 March

Tourist bus with 52 passengers struck tunnel wall, killing 28 people including party of 22 Belgian children on skiing vacation and injuring 24 others

13 March

Bus drove off road into 100-m deep ravine in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, China, killing 15 of 21 people onboard and injuring remaining 6

13 March

Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding announced receipt with other joint venture companies Nissan Rinkai Construction, Taisei Corporation and Viet Nam Public Works Office for 'Package 1A of works on North–South railway bridges' including construction of 225-m steel arch bridge in northern Ninh Binh Province, prestressed concrete elevated bridges, new stations, etc.; the joint venture had already received orders for 1B and 1C last year

15 March

Hitachi Manufacturing and UK's Royal College of Art announced joint development of new railway rolling stock design for London's new Crossrail line with future plans to expand orders

18 March

All six prefectures in Tohoku region of Japan announced start of 'Tohoku Sightseeing' campaign running until March 2013 to help regional revitalization following Great East Japan Earthquake with establishment of 28 tourism zones sponsored by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as well as creation of information centres at railway stations to attract customers by issuing passports, etc.

20 March

European High-Speed Freight Consortium Euro Carex formed between SNCF, Eurotunnel, HS1, Air France, and British freight distributors, etc., ran first test freight runs between UK and France from Lyon to London on 20 and 21 March using modified TGV through Channel Tunnel; modal shift of airfreight to high-speed rail is planned to take place in 2015

20 March

IATA forecast world airline 2012 net profits of $3 billion and revised 2011December figures down by $0.5 billion, citing squeezed profits due to rising fuel costs; passenger demand forecast to increase by 4.2% (4.0% year-on-year increase)

21 March

JR Kyushu announced proposed tests of railcar using large-capacity, high-voltage storage batteries using two modified series 817 suburban AC carriages as first Japan's first AC battery electrification; design to start in April with first running tests in 2013

23 March

Inaugural meeting of New Kansai International Airport Corporation to be established as wholly owned company on 1 April held with appointment of Mitsui Sumitomo Bank Vice President Keiichi Ando as company President; new company to start integrated operations between Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport in July 2012

27 March

Hokkaido International Airport announced name change to AIRDO from 1 October 2012; AIRDO was previously a nickname;the company was established in November 1996, as a pioneer of low-cost airline

29 March

Tourist bus with 39 passengers hit guardrail on expressway in Hainan Province, China, before falling 10 m into gulley, killing 5 people and injuring 33 others

30 March

JR East announced abandonment of plans to restore services on 38.4-km Iwizumi Line between Moichi and Iwaizumi cut by rockslide in July 2010 and start of alternate substitute bus service due to costs of ¥1.3 billion for landslide countermeasures and declining passenger levels

30 March

Japanese Cabinet settled on National Tourism Promotion Plan to increase inbound foreign tourism to Japan to 18 million visitors by 2016 following 2011 drop to 6.22 million due to impact of Great East Japan Earthquake and high value of Japanese yen

31 March

Towada Tourist Railway (14.7 km, Towadashi to Misawa) in Aomori Prefecture closed in 31 March, marking the end of its 90-year history; the initial plan was to cease service until March 2013 with high probability of total abandonment following application to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; however, the plan was advanced by a year and the application was made on 14 March

31 March

Nagano Electric Railway closed Yashiro Line (24.4 km Yashiro to Suzaka) marking end of operations for Kato Line (opened June 1922); the line opened in 1922 as a part of Kato Railway, a predecessor of Nagano Electric Railway; The Railway now left with only 33.2-km Nagano Line between Nagano and Yudanaka following previous closure of Shinshunakano to Kijima section of Kato Line in April 2002

2 April

California High-Speed Rail Authority announced plans to bring forward start of full operations of proposed high-speed 840-km link between San Francisco and Anaheim to 2029 or 4 years earlier than first proposal; various Japanese business groups, such as JR East, hope to bid for parts of project

2 April

ATR72 propeller aeroplane belonging to UTAir crashed near Tyumenin in Siberia, Russia, killing 31 people including 4 crew and injuring 12 others+ATR is a joint venture corporation established by France and Italy

2 April

Elementary schoolboy from Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, became 5 millionth visitor to JR East's Railway Museum in Omiya since it opened in October 2007, winning prizes including scale model shinkansen, etc.

5 April

Narita International Airport Corporation announced plan to build new terminal especially for low-cost carriers (LCC) on north side of current Terminal 2 building at cost of ¥20 billion with opening scheduled in 2014; facility to include Customs, Immigration and Quarantine services for both international and domestic lines

6 April

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism issued operations permit to Jetstar Japan LCC joint venture with JAL, etc.,; Narita will be the hub airport with flights to Kansai, Shin-Chitose, Fukuoka and Naha airports from July this year

7 April

Microbus driver error caused vehicle to veer off road into deep gully in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China, killing 14 passengers and injuring 14 others

8 April

To commemorate 100th anniversary of sinking of Titanic after striking iceberg in West Atlantic, Titanic-themed cruise liner with 1309 passengers departed Southampton following same course , with the same number of passengers as the original ill-fated vessel; Plans to conduct a memorial service at exact time and site of disaster on 14 April 1912 to remember 1512 victims as part of UNESCO celebrations of Convention on Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage

10 April

JR East announced production of Series E6 Shinkansen for use on Akita Shinkansen with plans to enter into service in Spring 2013; Series E6 will be coupled with Series E5 Hayabusa in 2014 Spring, and operated at 320km/h as the fastest high-speed line in Japan

12 April

Head-on collision between microbus and truck in Suzhou, Anhui Province, China, killed 23 passengers, with 3 injured

13 April

Passenger train collided with maintenance vehicle on the tracks near Offenbach am Main, Hessen, Germany, killing driver of passenger train and two maintenance workers, as well as injuring 13 train passengers

14 April

Gotemba to Mikkabi section (162 km) of New Tomei Expressway running parallel to older expressway between Ebina Minami and Toyota Higashi opened to traffic; entire route scheduled to open in sections by 2020

16 April

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 bound for Florida with 312 passengers and crew onboard made emergency return to Gatwick Airport after takeoff when small fire broke out in baggage hold; passengers evacuated via emergency chute after landing with 15 suffering injuries such as broken limbs or slight injuries

17 April

NASA delivered retired Space Shuttle Discovery on back of modified B747 from Kennedy Space Center Florida to Dulles International Airport, Virginia, prior to permanent exhibition in Washington's Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum adjacent to airport starting 20th April

20 April

Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 crashed just before landing at Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto International Airport, killing all 127 passengers and crew onboard

20 April

Detached road haulage trailer ran into bus coming in opposite direction near Alamo, Veracruz, Mexico, killing 43 bus passengers and injuring some 20 others

21 April

Two passenger trains from Amsterdam Centraal Station collided head-on in central Amsterdam, Holland, killing 1 person and injuring 117 others

22 April

Bus crossed central divide on expressway near Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, to collide with oncoming vehicle, killing 13 people and injuring 21 others

23 April

Bus and truck collided in Henan Province, China, killing 13 people and injuring 12 others

25 April

Large overnight bus struck guard rail on expressway in Yunnan Province, China, before falling 10 m off road, killing 9 of 46 people onboard and injuring 36 others

28 April

New Italo high-speed rail system opened in Italy linking Milan, Rome and Naples at speeds of 300 km/h; operated by new operator Nuovo Transport Viaggiatori established by companies including Ferrari using French Alstom-built AGV in Ferrari crimson livery—services to be extended north to Torino and Venice and south to Salerno before year end

29 April

Tokyo-bound overnight tour bus bound for Tokyo running on Kan'etsu Expressway carrying 46 passengers struck side sound barrier on near side of bus, killing 7 passengers and injuring 38 others after driver fell asleep at wheel

29 April

Minivan carrying 7 people including 3 children on expressway in New York City crossed central divide into path of oncoming traffic, ran over opposite side guard rail and fell 18 meters in zoological gardens, killing everyone onboard despite all wearing seat belts

30 April

Overloaded double-deck ferry crossing Brahmaputra River in Assam, India, with more than 300 people onboard, overturned by strong side winds and sank, drowning at least 105 people and leaving more than 100 missing

30 April

Minivan and truck collided in Wuzhong, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, killing 18 people and injuring 8 others

30 April

US Delta Airlines announced $150 million purchase of large US petroleum refinery owned by Conoco-Phillips, marking unusual business move for aviation business with intent to slash annual $300 million fuel costs; purchase price same as cost of 1 large jet plane

2 May

Kintetsu Railway announced receipt of large order for 78 sets (156 units) of Light Rail Vehicles worth US$300 million from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority with option for 157 more sets, bringing possible overall total to US$890 million; bodies and underframes to be manufactured in Japan and assembled in new plant in LA

5 May

Two multivehicle collisions at same time between passenger cars and trucks on toll expressway in Yunnan Province, China, left 12 people dead and 19 injured

5 May

Charter bus ran off elevated expressway and fell into canal near Padova, Italy, killing 5 passengers and injuring 18 others

7 May

JR East announced start of express bus services as substitute replacement for rail services lost when tsunami after Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 washed away parts of JR East Kesennuma Line

9 May

New Russian-built passenger Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) 100 crashed while on demonstration flight in West Java, Indonesia, killing all 48 people on board

10 May

JR West announced business tie-up with Kintetsu Railway subsidiary Kintetsu Rolling Stock with purchase of 5% shareholding; JR West's Itsuo Morishita unofficially appointed next President of Kintetsu Rolling Stock

14 May

Dornier 228 light aircraft belonging to domestic carrier Agni Air crashed on landing at remote airfield in Mustang region of Nepal, killing 15 of 21 people onboard and injuring 6 others

14 May

Odakyu Electric Railway announced plans to invest US$44.2 million to increase attractiveness of Hakone Hot Springs destination with new gondolas for mountain cable car, new tourist "pirate" ship, and new onsenhot-spring facilities

15 May

Marubeni Corporation announced receipt of order worth $10 million for construction of Manila Metro Line 7 from large Philippine construction company DCMI and Manila Light Rail Transit Authority; new 23-km line to serve NE Manila and cost to cover construction of elevated rail sections with integrated bus terminals. JR East group rolling stock builders to supply 108 vehicles for full opening of line scheduled in June 2016

17 May

Bus collided with bridge rail and fell 18 meters into river below near Dak Lak City, Viet Nam, before sinking, killing at least 36 people and injuring 20 others

18 May

Tobu Railway held ceremony marking completion of project to renovate Asakusa Station building on Isesaki Line with neo-Renaissance look of early Showa era by removing 1970s aluminium siding to reveal Kanto region's first 1931-era railway terminal with combined department store

21 May

Bus carrying university students on graduation trip drove off road into 80-m deep gorge in southern Albania, killing 12 and injuring 21 others

22 May

Tokyo Skytree, world's largest free-standing radio mast at 634 m opened for business with joint commercial establishment called 'Tokyo Soramachi;' owners Tobu Railway expect 3.2 million annual visitors to new Tokyo sightseeing hot spot

22 May

Diesel-hauled passenger express train crashed into freight train in Andhra Pradesh, SE India, killing at least 25 people and injuring 55 others when passenger express missed signal

22 May

Australian carrier Qantas announced separation of company into international and domestic lines from July as attempt to clarify cost structure and re-invigorate sluggish international business

24 May

Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Toshiba announced receipt of order for four shinkansen trainsets comprising 48 carriages from Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation; two companies already completed 360 units of 700T series based on 700 series for 345-km Taipei to Gaoxiong shinkansen opened in 2007 and targeting line extensions from Taipei (5.7 km, opening in 2015) and lines already in operation

25 May

JR Central announced plans to hold International High-Speed Rail Conference in Autumn 2014 to mark 50th anniversary of opening of Tokaido Shinkansen; conference to discuss role of high-speed rail in 21st century and jointly sponsored by JR West and JR Kyushu

28 May

JR Kyushu announced luxury sleeper train called Nanatsuboshi in Kyushu (Seven Stars in Kyushu) to start sightseeing trips around Kyushu Island from October 2103. Locomotive-hauled trainset to include 7 passenger carriages, dining car and lounge to carry 28 passengers at prices ranging from ¥150,00 for 1 night and 2 days to ¥550,000 for 3 nights and 4 days.

28 May

Fire broke out in children's nursery area in large shopping mall in Doha, Qatar, killing 19 people, including 13 children, and injuring 17 others

28 May

All Nippon Airways announced plans to decorate planes serving Uwajima (Ehime), Masuda (Shimane), and Satsumasendai (Kagoshima) in special liveries for 1 year from June to help stimulate local economies; information leaflets on each areas will be placed in the cabin

2 June

B727 cargo plane overran runway on landing at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport, Ghana, and crashed into bus, killing at least 10 people on bus but leaving flight crew unharmed

3 June

Dana Air domestic MD-83 crashed into housing and burned near airport in Lagos, Nigeria, killing all 153 passengers and crew onboard as well as unknown number of people on ground

3 June

Multi-vehicle collision in dense early morning fog on highway in Yangcheng City, Jiangsu Province, China, left at least 11 people dead and more than 30 injured

5 June

Solar-battery powered Solar Impulse aircraft made first successful intercontinental flight from Spain to Morocco across Strait of Gibraltar after departing Madrid in early morning and arriving in Rabat 19 hours later

6 June

US-built OB-1840 helicopter crashed at high 4900-m altitude in Peruvian Andes killing all 14 people onboard, including Korean technicians returning home after inspecting hydropower project

8 June

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced reopening from 13 December 2012 of Iwakuni US military airbase in Yamaguchi Prefecture to both civilian and military flights for first time in 48 years with ANA expected to start four daily return flights from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)

10 June

Police helicopter carrying Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and five others crashed near Nairobi, Kenya, killing everyone onboard; Saitoti previously announced intent to stand in next year's presidential elections

12 June

Canberra Airport operator announced plans to construct high-speed railway terminal at Canberra, connecting federal capitol with Melbourne, Sidney and Brisbane

13 June

Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau announced public subscription for management of 51 sales outlets, kiosks, etc., at 35 metro stations now currently managed solely by city

20 June

Large highway bus ran off expressway and overturned down 50-m embankment near Ningde City, Fujian Province, China, killing 17 of 45 people on board and injuring 3 others

22 June

LAN Airways of Chile and TAM Airways of Brazil announced business merger to create new LATAM airline group as largest carrier in S. America but to remain trading under own brand name

23 June

Highway bus carrying more than 50 Czechoslovakian tourists overturned after colliding with roadside barrier in southern Croatia, killing 8 people and injuring 44 others

24 June

Highway bus overturned and fell 300 m down ravine in southern Mexico, killing at least 25 people and injuring 20 others

28 June

All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced 10,500 yen 'Experience JAPAN Fare' for any flight sector in Japan to encourage foreign inbound tourism with ticket purchase at overseas agents and also available to Japanese with foreign residence visa

28 June

Approx. 1-km long ropeway opened by Emirates Airways across River Thames in London to celebrate start of London 2012 Olympics in exactly 1 month

29 June

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism approved start of construction of three new shinkansen sections: Shin-Hakodate to Sapporo (211 km) on Hokkaido Shinkansen; Kanazawa to Tsuruga (113 km) on Hokuriku Shinkansen; and Isahaya to Nagasaki (21 km) on Kyushu Shinkansen extension for total budget of ¥3 trillion

1 July

Hanyi Railway (293.1 km) opened between Wuhan and Yichang in China, completing (2078 km) Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu Passenger Dedicated Line and cutting shortest journey time to 11 hours


JR East and Kawasaki Heavy Industries announced establishment of battery power systems for Kawasaki Heavy railway systems at JR East transformer substations and start of commercial prototype testing with analysis of energy saving, voltage stability, etc., by February 2013

2 July

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced plans to construct second new overseas plant in Mobile, south Alabama, USA, following first overseas plant in Tianjin, China, with aim of increasing production of medium-size jets such as A320 to 40 or 50 units per annum


JR East announced plans to restore platforms and staircases of old Mansebashi Station in Kanda, Tokyo, to revitalize as commercial facility with construction of shared high-rise office space in station building


JR East announced next 5-year phase of plans to reinforce earthquake resistance of railway structures such as viaduct pillars, etc., in Tokyo metropolis totalling ¥209 billion with ¥100 billion allocated to strengthening electric poles and bridge piers since April


Low-cost carrier (LCC) Jetstar Japan (joint venture by JAL and others) started services between Narita, Shin-Chitose and Fukuoka as first LCC operator out of Narita Airport and second LCC following Peach Aviation with planned increase to four service routes in mid-August

10 July

Part of huge model railway collection created by Nobutaro Hara since 1980 opened as Hara Miniature Railway Museum in Yokohama featuring world's largest 1 gauge (45 mm) diorama covering 310 square meters

11 July

US Carrier Skywest and Mitsubishi Aircraft announced basic agreement to purchase MRJ100 (Mitsubishi Regional Jet) with delivery scheduled from 2017 to 2020; Mitsubishi already received orders for 130 units from three carriers, including ANA

11 July

Hiroshima Railway opened tramway restaurant called Tramvale Express in front of Hiroshima Head Office building using three tram cars built in 1959 and imported from Dortmund, Germany, in 1981 to celebrate 100th anniversary of opening
15—Bus carrying Hindu pilgrims from India overturned into river in Nepal, killing at least 38 people

18 July

Passenger ferry with about 290 people on board travelling between Tanzania and Zanzibar sank, drowning at least 62 people and leaving more than 80 others missing

22 July

Unprecedented heavy rains in Beijing left at 77 people dead and 2 million people in evacuation shelters, causing more than US$1.5 billion in damages

23 July

New German railway operator Hamburg Köln Express (HKX) started new express services between Köln and Hamburg as first genuine participant in mainline railways since privatization and in competition with Deutsche Bahn (DB)

23 July

Large regional railroad Genesee and Wyoming announced US$1.39 billion merger with short-line freight railroad operator Rail America

24 July

Tokyu Railway and Tokyo Metro announced planned start of through operations at Shibuya Station from 16 March 2013 with both lines linking Motomochi and Chukagai stations on Yokohama High-Speed Railway to Shinrin Koen on Tobu Tojo Line and Hanno on Seibu Ikebukuro Line; Toyoko Line to abandon through operations on Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line with different carriage specifications and Hibiya Line to return at Naka-Meguro Station

25 July

Hitachi Manufacturing announced £4.5 billion order from UK Department for Transport (DfT) for manufacture of 596 carriages for East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line railway lines via local Hitachi subsidiary Agility Trains including maintenance contract until 2027

26 July Brazilian government announced opening of bidding to build 511-km high-speed line between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo using vertical separation of technology supply and operations from infrastructure and maintenance; alliance of Japanese trading companies examining bid for technology supply and operations
30 July

Fire caused by electrical short circuit onboard express sleeper train in Andhra Pradesh, India, left at least 32 people dead and 26 injured


Mr. Yoshiharu Ueki
Appointed JAL President on 15 February. Joined JAL in 1975 as pilot following graduation from Civil Aviation College, before holding various senior management positions including Executive Officer of Flight Operations and Managing Executive Officer in Charge of Division Route Marketing. ex-Chairman Kazuo Inamori appointed Director and Chairman Emeritus, and ex-President Masaru Onishi appointed Chairman and Director

Mr. Tetsuro Tomita
Appointed JR East President from 1 April. Joined old JNR in 1974 after graduating from Faculty of Law of University of Tokyo. Joined JR East at 1987 JNR division and privatization, becoming Director and Executive Director in 2000, and Executive Vice-President in June 2008. Previous President Satoshi Seino to become Chairman and previous Chairman Mutsutake Otsuka to become Advisor.

Mr. Keiichi Ando
Appointed President of New Kansai International Airport Corporation. Joined Sumitomo Bank (now Sumitomo Mitsui Bank) in 1976 after graduating from Faculty of Economics of University of Tokyo. Held positions as Director and Managing Director before 2010 appointment as Representative Director

Mr. Hisashi Wakabayashi
Appointed President of Seibu Railway from 1 May. Joined Izu Hakone Railway in 1972 after graduating from Waseda University Business School. Appointed Board Director in 2001. Former President Susumu Shirayama to retire.

Mr. Seiji Manabe
Appointed President of JR West from 1 May. Joined old JNR in 1976 after graduating from Faculty of Law of University of Tokyo. Moved to JR West at JNR division and privatization, holding various senior management posts before appointment as Vice-President in 2009. Former President Takayuki Sasaki to become Chairman.

Mr. Itsuo Morishita
To be appointed President of Kintetsu Rolling Stock Company from 28 June 2012. Joined old JNR after graduating in Engineering from Musashi Institute of Technology in 1968 and moved to JR West at 1987 JNR division and privatization where held various senior management positions before becoming President of JR West Shinkansen Technos Corporation in 2008. Former President Koichi Sakurai to become Director and Senior Advisor

Mr. Yuichiro Hata
Appointed Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in second Noda Cabinet. Graduated from Tamagawa University in 1992 before joining Itochu Commemorative Foundation. Elected to House of Representatives in October 1999 and returned to Diet in subsequent 2001 and 2007 elections, continuing political lineage of father Tsutomu Hata and grandfather Bushiro Hata.

Mr. Makoto Natsume
Appointed President of Narita International Airport Corporation. Joined old JNR after graduating from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in 1971 and moved to JR East at 1987 JNR privatization and division where held senior management positions including Vice President before moving in 2005 to become president of JR East Retail Net Co.

Mr. Shuji Tamura
Appointed President of JR Freight on 22 June. Joined old JNR after graduating from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in 1972 and moved to JR Freight at 1987 JNR privatization and division where held senior management positions including Vice President. Previous President Masaaki Kobayashi to become Chairman without representative rights.