Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 66 (topics)

February–July 2015

2 February

Toyama City and Toyama Chiho Railway announced start of local line and tram line operations under Hokuriku Shinkansen elevated section at Toyama Station from 14-March opening of Hokuriku Shinkansen, with extension of about 160 m from station south exit to below elevated section; Toyama City bearing construction cost with local railway using vertical separation of operations. Plans to elevate conventional line and link with north exit of Toyama Station as Toyama Light Rail

3 February

Train derailed on Harlem Line of Metro-North Railway at Valhalla suburbs in New York, USA, after hitting car on line, causing explosion and fire killing 6 people including driver and injuring 15 others

4 February

Small twin-prop ATR72-600 plane belonging to TransAsia Airways clipped expressway soon after takeoff from Songshan Airport near Taipei, Taiwan, before crashing into adjacent Keelung River, killing 43 of 58 people onboard and injuring 15 others

4 February

JR East announced start of Green Car operations for Chuo Line express services between Tokyo and Otsuki and on Ome Line between Tachikawa and Ome using 2 double-deck Green Cars in 12-car train set from FY2020, establishing Green Car operations on all ‘five-directions’ services from Tokyo (Tokaido, Chuo, Tohoku, Joban, Sobu)

11 February

Multiple car pileup involving 106 vehicles on Yeongjong bridge at Incheong International Airport expressway, S. Korea, during thick fog, killing 2 people and injuring 3 others

12 February

JR East and Taiwan Railways Administration announced twinned stations agreement between Tokyo Station and Hsinchu Station. Both stations, built by leading Japanese architect, celebrating centennial of operations

13 February

Bus carrying 60 passengers struck by freight train in Nuevo Leon State, northeast Mexico, killing at least 16 passengers and injuring 30 others

16 February

About 30 tank wagons of freight train hauling petroleum derailed in West Virginia, USA, before exploding and catching fire, causing large conflagration and black smoke. Evacuation orders issued to nearby residents

16 February

Toshiba announced delivery of 2 DC electric locomotives (EL120 class) to Nagoya Railroad as first delivery to private railway in about 45 years; small 4-axle locomotive shares many parts with electric railcars

20 February

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., and Kinki Sharyo, announced order for Doha Metro system in Qatar as joint venture with large French maker Thales; 3 lines totalling some 886 km to be served by 75 trainsets comprised of 225 cars with completion expected in October 2019

20 February

Early morning express and commuter trains collided at Rafz Station near Zurich, Switzerland, before overturning and injuring at least 6 passengers

22 February

Ferry carrying more than 100 passengers collided with freighter in River Padma, central Bangladesh, before overturning and drowning at least 41 people

24 February

Hitachi Ltd. announced purchase of railway business of Italian defence and aircraft maker Finmeccanica, paying ¥250 billion for railway carriage maker subsidiary AnsaldoBreda and signalling systems maker Ansaldo STS with aim of expanding railway systems business

24 February

Large bus overturned on expressway in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, killing at least 22 people and injuring 38 others

24 February

Commuter train derailed in Oxnard, California, USA, after colliding with truck stranded on line; 3 of 4 carriages overturned injuring 50 people but truck driver unharmed

26 February

Keikyu Corporation and Taiwan Railways Administration concluded twinned railways agreement celebrating establishment of both businesses in 1948 targeting inter-city and tourism transport, as well as other shared points including famous trackside Kawazu cherry blossom viewing sites; first time for both railways to conclude friendship agreement with overseas railway

27 February

Japanese Cabinet approved revisions to JR company law allowing sale of shares in JR Kyushu held by Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency to fully privatize company with IPO by mid- FY2016; government approved liquidation of JR Kyushu Management Stability Fund of ¥387 billion before IPO to improve business finances



Mr Shinya Katanozaka appointed President of ANA Holdings from 1 April. Joined ANA in 1979 after graduating from Faculty of Law at University of Tokyo before appointment as Managing Director in 2009, Executive Director, and Vice-President from 2013; former President Shin’ichiro Ito to become Chairman with Representative Rights.

3 March

Sumitomo Corporation and Nipppon Sharyo announced order for 16 trainsets (96 carriages) worth about ¥13 billion for Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) North– South line (approx. 16 km) funded by Indonesia

3 March

Bus ran over cliff in Linzhou, Henan Province, China, killing 20 people and injuring 13 others

5 March

Delta Airlines jet ran off runway, over embankment and through perimeter fence before stopping at edge of East River at LaGuardia Airport, New York, USA, during winter storm; 24 passengers injured using emergency slides

7 March

JR East announced start of reconstruction of 55.4-km coastal section of Yamada Line to be transferred to Sanriku Railway following damage sustained in Great East Japan Earthquake; reconstruction expected to be completed in 2018

7 March

Approximately 9.4-km section between Ohashi and Oi junctions on 47-km Central Circular route of Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo fully opened about 50 years after first plan to relieve congestion in city and on access to Haneda Tokyo International Airport

9 March

Two helicopters shooting scenery for French television channel in northern Argentina collided in mid-air, killing all 10 people on board, including French athletes

9 March

Amtrak passenger train collided with trailer stuck on crossing in North Carolina, USA, before derailing and injuring 40 passengers

12 March

Hitachi announced delivery of 234 AT-200 (70 trainsets) by UK railway system subsidiary, Hitachi Rail Europe, to Dutch Railway operator Abellio as first order for AT-200, along with maintenance contract; series expected to enter commercial operation between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Stirling and Dunblane in 2017

13 March

Egyptian government announced plan to construct new capital city for about 5 million people east of present heavily overpopulated Cairo (18 million residents) with shift of government offices and foreign embassies to new city and provision of new International airport and railway links

13 March

Ferry carrying more than 200 people overturned off Rakhine, Western Myanmar, leaving 169 people rescued, 34 dead, and 11 missing

14 March

Hokuriku Shinkansen started operations over 228.1-km section between Nagano and Kanazawa in line with timetable revision; fastest Kagayaki express trains now link Tokyo and Kanazawa (450.5 km) in 2 hours 28 minutes, shortening present journey by up to 83 minutes

14 March

New line between Ueno and Tokyo opened to link Utsunomiya, Takahashi, and Joban Line with Tokaido Shinkansen; Joban Line started extended operations to Shinagawa

14 March

Following opening of Nagano to Kanazawa section of Hokuriku Shinkansen, operation of parallel running JR East narrow-gauge line transferred to four newly established third-sector railway companies including three operated by local governments: Shinano Railway (37.3 km, Nagao–Myokokogen); Echigo Tokimeki Railway (Myokokogen–Ichiburi, 97.0 km); Ainokaze Toyama Railway (Ichiburi–Kurikara, 100.1 km); and IR Ishikawa Railway (Kurikara–Kanazawa, 17.8 km)

14 March

Tourist bus overran curve in Santa Catarina Province, Brazil, before overturning down mountainside, killing at least 49 people on board

14 March

Seibu Holdings and Seibu Railway signed business cooperation and sister railway agreements with Taiwan Railways Administration aimed at increasing users through tourism PR events by both companies; Taiwan Railways Administration already concluded sister railways agreement with Keihin Electric Express Railway in January

19 March

Small plane crashed in outskirts of Punta del Este, Uruguay, killing all 10 people on board

20 March

JR Hokkaido announced submission of new 5-year plan (FY2014 to 2018) worth approximately ¥260 billion to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for investment in safety and repairs; about ¥93 billion increase compared to previous 5-year plan ending FY2013

20 March

Express train derailed in Uttar Pradesh State, northern India, killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 50 others

20 March

Mitsubishi Trading and Chiyoda Corporation announced order worth approximately ¥11 billion from Philippines government to build new airport with 2000-m runway under planning in Bohol State using yen loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); both companies already dealing with construction of new airport at Ulan Bator, Mongolia

22 March

Taiwan Railways Administration announced 10-year plan to introduce 1307 pieces of new rolling stock to replace old stock at cost of about ¥412 billion with 600 carriages for intercity transport, 520 for commuting, and 82 electric locomotives

23 March

Hitachi announced award of preferential negotiation rights to UK railway systems subsidiary, Hitachi Rail Europe, for delivery of 173 AT-300 carriages (29 trainsets) from First Group plc with approval of UK Department for Transport; new trains destined to serve between London Paddington, Penzance and Plymouth stations, supporting non-electrified sections with diesel electric generator

23 March

Bus collided with oncoming bus and truck crossing central divide in northern Peru, killing at least 37 people and injuring 70 others

24 March

Airbus 320 operated by Lufthansa low-cost carrier subsidiary Germanwings crashed deliberately by copilot into French Alps, killing all 150 passengers and crew on board

26 March

Tanker truck caught fire and exploded while fuel being stolen in Tabasco State, southern Mexico, killing at least 10 people

27 March

Iga Railway, Kinki Japan Railway, and Iga City in Mie Prefecture agreed plan to transfer management of Iga Line between Iga-kambe and Iga-ueno (16.6 km) to public-ownership private-management system from FY2017; vertical separation to remain unchanged with Kinki Railway to transfer infrastructure, rolling stock, etc., free-of-charge to Iga City and Iga Railway to continue operation

28 March

Metro Expo Line commuter train collided with passenger car in Los Angeles, USA, causing partial derailment and injuring 21 people

29 March

Airbus A320 crashed on landing at Halifax International Airport, Eastern Canada, injuring 25 passengers including 2 pilots; plane belly landed ahead of runway to hit airport antennas and slip more than 300 m before coming to stop

30 March

Bus ran off mountain road in southern Peru before falling at least 1000 m into valley below, killing at least 16 people

1 April

Third-sector Kitakinki Tango Railway (KTR, 30.4 km between Fukuchiyama and Miyazu, and 83.6 km between Nishimaizuru and Miyazu and Toyoko in Kyoto Prefecture) restarted business using vertical separation model with KTR owning infrastructure and rolling stock and WILLER TRAINS subsidiary of expressway bus company WILLER ALLIANCE handling operations

1 April

Kintetsu Corporations’ Hachioji Line (5.7 km between Kintetsu-Yokkaichi and Hinaga and Utsube, and 1.3 km between Hinaga and Nishihino in Mie Prefecture) restarted using vertical separation model; Yokkaichi City to takeover infrastructure and rolling stock from Kintetsu with operations handled by new third-sector operator Yokkaichi Asunaro Railway jointly financed by Kintetsu and local government

2 April

Large Russian fishing vessel sank in Sea of Okhotsk, leaving 54 of 132 crew dead and 15 missing

3 April

Series 789 limited express service running on JR East Tsugaru–Kaikyo Line caught fire in Seikan Tunnel; all 129 passengers and crew safely evacuated from 135 m below sea level via former Tappi-Kaitei Station using cable car to surface in first passenger emergency evacuation since tunnel opened in 1988

4 April

Helicopter carrying aide to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, and six Cabinet members crashed into rubber plantation south of Kuala Lumpur, killing all on board

7 April

Small aircraft crashed on landing at Bloomington Airport, Illinois, USA, killing all 7 people on board

8 April

Third passenger terminal dedicated to low-cost carrier (LCC) services opened at Narita Airport, Tokyo with construction cost of ¥15 billion, or 40% less per square metre than existing terminals; about 80% of domestic and international LCC flights expected to use new terminal

12 April

Catenary support pole found leaning on section of Yamate Line between Kanda and Akihabara stations, closing Yamate Line and parallel Keihin-Tohoku Line for more than 9 hours with cancellation of more than 715 services and inconveniencing some 410,000 passengers

14 April

Airbus A320 belonging to operator Korea Aseana slid off runway on landing at Hiroshima Airport, Japan, slightly injuring 27 of 82 people on board; accident caused by low approach due to poor visibility in fog with both engines touching radio facilities at side of runway

14 April

Kawasaki Heavy Industries announced delivery of first Series 7000 trainsets (ordered via Kawasaki Rail Car Inc.) for WMATA as first ever order for subway in Washington DC, USA; delivery comprised of 64 cars for first 8 trainsets with option for 464 more

16 April

Fukuoka City and JR West announced introduction of high-speed transport system (BRT) in Fukuoka City using articulated buses; test runs using 2 sets to start in FY2016 with full-scale operations using 15 sets scheduled to start in FY2020

21 April

JR Central linear maglev Series L0 recorded world record speed of 603 km/h on 42.8-km Yamanashi Test Track, breaking previous 581-km/h record set in December 2013 by predecessor MLX01; Series L0 also recorded test run of 590 km/h on 16 April. JR Central expected to open Chuo Shinkansen linear maglev between Shinagawa and Nagoya in 2027 operating at speeds of 505 km/h

30 April

Mitsui & Co., Toyo Engineering, Kobe Steel, and Toyo local subsidiary PT. Inti Karya Persada Tehnik announced order worth about ¥25 billion from Jakarta Mass Rapid Rail Transport (MRTJ) for railway systems and infrastructure for north–south line of Jakarta subway; Sumitomo Corporation and Nippon Sharyo received order for 96 carriages in March


Mr Takashi Ando appointed President of Nagoya Railroad from 1 June. Joined Nagoya Railroad in 1978 after graduating from Department of Commercial Science at Waseda University. Held various senior management positions including Executive Managing Director before current appointment. Previous President Ado Yamamoto to become Chairman with representative rights, and previous Chairman Hideo Kono to become Director and Senior Advisor

4 May

Japanese government announced that 23 industrial sites in 8 prefectures dating from Meiji Era in Nagasaki, Fukuoka, etc., recommended as World Heritage Sites by advisory group to UNESCO with formal adoption by World Heritage Committee in July

10 May

Small twin-engine propeller plane (Chinese-built MA60) belonging to Joy Air failed on landing in Fujian Province, China, slipping off runway into grass field, causing damages to the fuselage, wings, and injuring 7 of 45 people onboard

11 May

Bombardier CRJ200 belonging to SkyWest Airlines suffered undercarriage failure to make belly landing at Los Angeles International Airport but 43 passengers and crew suffered no injuries

12 May

Amtrak train bound for New York from Washington derailed and overturned near Philadelphia, killing at least 8 people and injuring more than 200 others; National Transportation Safety Board investigation showed train took curve with speed restriction of 128 km/h at 170 km/h

12 May

New Kansai International Airport announced 24-hour bus services from airport to Osaka City from summer 2015 to support late-night flights of low-cost carriers as first main domestic airport with 24-hour bus services

14 May

JR Central announced appointment of former US presidential advisor Mr Torkel Patterson to post of parttime company Director in June as first JR operator with non-Japanese board member

14 May

At least 10 wagons of freight train derailed near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, without injury to crew or bystanders

15 May

Tourist bus drove off mountain road in Shanxi Province, China, killing 35 people onboard including driver, and injuring 11 others

16 May

Passenger train struck trailer on level crossing in West Hanover, Germany, killing 2 people and injuring 20 others

22 May

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced transfer of 55.2% holdings in Shonan Rail (6.6 km between Ofuna and Shonan Enoshima) to holding company Michinori Holdings established in 1996 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Trading and delivering first Safege style suspended monorail cars; two other group companies also to transfer shares

22 May

Downbound limited express mistakenly entered passing track with stopped upbound limited express on Nagasaki main line at Hizen-Ryuo Station in Saga Prefecture before making emergency stop 93 meters short of the upbound train; mistake due to error at dispatch office and Japan Transport Safety Board dispatched accident examiners to site

23 May

Large tourist bus carrying 52 passengers overturned on expressway on Hunan Province, China, killing 7 people and injuring more than 40 others

27 May

Governments of Thailand and Japan concluded memorandum of understanding to investigate joint venture to introduce Japanese shinkansen technology for building planned high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Chiang Mai (about 680 km)

27 May

Utsunomiya City announced opening of public bids for management of city LRT system with hearings in mid- June, and selection of winning bid in July

29 May

Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan announced decision to support Oigawa Railway (Shizuoka Prefecture) and group railway business with request to financial institutions to waive accumulated debts and management participation of Eclipse Hidaka, a company with experience in hotel restructuring ; largest shareholder Nagoya Railroad to withdraw from business

30 May

Section (10.5 km) between Takagimachi and Rikuzen’ono on JR East Senseki Line damaged by 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake reopened after 4 years and 2 months to restore full line operations between Aoba Dori (in Sendai) and Ishinomaki (49.0 km); part of route relocated further inland

31 May

Large gasoline tanker truck exploded in southern Nigeria after collision with a bus stop, killing 69 people and injuring 35 others


Mr Teruhiko Achikita appointed President of Nankai Railway on 14 May; joined company in 1978 after graduating from Keio University. Former President Mr Shinji Watari to retire.

Mr Tsutomu Morimura appointed President of Nippon Sharyo Seizo on 21 May; joined old NR in 1972 after graduating from University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering. Held various senior management positions at JR Central from 2002 before appointment as Nippon Sharyo Seizo Vice-President in June 2014. Former President Mr Akira Nakagawa to retire and Chairman Mr Katsuyuki Ikushima to become Board Advisor.

1 June

River cruise vessel from Nanjing overturned during inclement weather in Yangtze River, China, drowning 442 people and leaving 12 people including captain rescued

2 June

Relief helicopter providing aid to Nepal following two earthquakes crashed in Sindhupalchowk district killing 4 people onboard

3 June

Plenary session of Japan’s Upper House approved revision of JR Company Law to fundamentally facilitate JR Kyushus’ management independence and listing of the company on stock market targeting sale of remaining government-held shares in FY2016

3 June

Yamato Transport and Kenpokku Bus (Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture) started mixed package-delivery/ passenger-bus service between Morioka and Miyako, eliminating need for Yamato drivers to make unnecessary trip between Miyako and Omoe

8 June

IATA announced 17% increase in forecast FY2015 record profits for world airlines to US$29.3 billion (+79% year-on-year increase) attributed to falling aviation fuel cost

8 June

Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization appointed JR East Chairman Satoshi Seino as new Chairman for 2 years; First chairman non-member of Tohoku Economic Federation

9 June

JR East announced appointment of JR East Vice- Chairman Masaki Ogata as new Chairman of UITP from 11 June until 15 May 2017; first chairman from an Asian country

23 June

Skynet Asia Airlines established in 1997, announced brand name change to SOLASEED AIR from 1 December; the company used SOLASEED as a brand name since 2011

26 June

JR Central announced Guinness Book of Records acceptance of 603 km/h speed recorded on 21 April by L0 maglev train on 42.8-km Yamanashi Test Track as world record speed for manned railway; former record of 581 km/h also held by JR Central

28 June

Light aircraft crashed into residential house in suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, killing all 3 people onboard but without injuring house residents

30 June

71-year old man committed suicide by self-immolation using can of petrol in lead car of Nozomi 225 service on down line of Tokaido Shinkansen, causing death from smoke inhalation of female passenger and injuries to 28 other passengers and crew; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) confirmed incident as first-ever shinkansen train fire and convened investigation of incident by Japan Transportation Safety Board

30 June

MLIT announced allocation of ¥160 billion in funding for additional railway safety infrastructure measures for JR Hokkaido and JR Shikoku to alleviate companies’ severe business conditions; ¥120 billion allocated to JR Hokkaido for 3-year period from FY2016 to 2018 and ¥20 billion allocated to JR Shikoku for 4-year period from FY2016 to 2019

1 July

Coach carrying Korean tourists overturned off bridge in Jilin Province, China, killing 10 people

1 July

Part of freight train carrying flammable poisonous gas derailed near Maryville, Tennessee, before catching fire, causing evacuation of 5000 nearby residents

2 July

Passenger ferry carrying 187 people capsized near Leyte Island, Philippines, leaving 41 people dead and 12 others missing

2 July

Steel bridge carrying military train collapsed in eastern Pakistan, killing 12 soldiers

5 July

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Committee registered 23 industrial locations of Meiji-era Japan in 8 Japanese prefectures as cultural heritage sites, bringing number of sites registered in last 3 years to 19

7 July

UIC and JR East held 4-day 9th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail in Tokyo bringing together representatives from world’s railways under theme ‘Celebrate the Past, Design the Future’

7 July

USAF F16 jet fighter collided with small Cessna 150 in South Carolina, USA, killing two people in Cessna but fighter pilot ejected safely

12 July

Small plane with engine trouble made emergency landing on highway in New Jersey, USA, slightly injuring 1 of 5 people onboard

13 July

Kawasaki Heavy Engineering announced additional order from Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) for 220 series 7000 subway railcars as followon to 2010 order for 64 cars, bringing total deliveries to 748 cars; cars built in Nebraska works with delivery from 2018

15 July

Delta Airline announced cancellation of 20 E190 planes from Embraer and 40 737-900ER planes from Boeing following cabin crew refusal to accept suggested temporary contract

17 July

JR East announced gift of 19 kiha 40 and 48 electric railcars serving Tohoku and Niigata areas to Myanmar Railways backed up by dispatch of rolling stockengineers to support local deployment

21 July

Air Asia Japan announced spring 2016 start of both international and domestic flights from Chubu International Airport following operating permission from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and marking re-entry into Japanese market after 2.5 years

22 July

Japanese National Tourist Organization (JNTO) announced 52% year-on-year increase in June inbound tourism totalling record 1.6 million people backed by relaxed visa rules and cheap yen; total visitors since January 2015 now 9.14 million and on-track to reach 18 million annually

22 July

Japan’s JR East and UK’s High Speed Two Ltd. announced conclusion of 5-month consultancy contract from June to November 2015

22 July

Ferry collided with freighter on River Nile, Egypt, near Cairo, leaving 13 ferry passengers dead and 7 missing

22 July

Light Beechcraft aircraft crashed and burned in Wisconsin, USA, killing all 4 people onboard

26 July

Light Piper PA46-350P crashed soon after takeoff into nearby houses and cars in Chofu City, Tokyo, killing pilot, 1 passenger and 1 person on ground

26 July

Long-distance bus hit tunnel arch near Lille, France, ripping off bus roof and slightly injuring 34 of 58 Spanish students onboard

27 July

Hitachi UK local subsidiary Hitachi Rail Europe announced conclusion of first-ever railway operation management system contract in UK for Thameslink running north-south services through London

29 July

Large truck crashed into church with congregation of about 200 worshippers in central Mexico, killing 25 people and injuring 50 others before truck driver absconded

30 July

Hitachi UK local subsidiary Hitachi Rail Europe announced conclusion of maintenance contract with First Great Western Ltd parent company FirstGroup plc for service of 173 carriages (29 trainsets) of delivered electric Class AT-300 based on Class 800 but with added diesel engine for service on non-electrified sections

31 July

Light Embraer Phenom 300 carrying Saudi family related to Osama bin Laden crashed into car auction site immediately before landing and burned, killing all four people onboard


Mr Hideo Tokuyama appointed Permanent Vice-Minister; joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating in 1979 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering before holding posts as Tohoku Bureau Maintenance Director General and Director General of Roads Bureau, as well as Chief Engineer since July 2014

Mr Koji Ikeuchi appointed Chief Engineer; joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating in 1982 from University of Tokyo Postgraduate School before holding posts of Kinki Bureau Maintenance Director General, as well as Water Management and National Maintenance Director General since July 2014

Mt Takatoshi Nishiwaki appointed Assistant Vice-Minister; joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating in 1979 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law before holding posts of Deputy Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, and Manager at Policy Bureau as well as Director of Minister’s Secretariat since July 2014

Mr Toshiya Morishige appointed Assistant Vice-Minister; joined old Ministry of Transport after graduating in 1978 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law before holding posts as Maritime Bureau Senior Deputy Director General, and Deputy Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination as well as Maritime Bureau Director General since August 2013

Mr Hiroshi Tabata appointed Director of Minister’s Secretariat; joined old Ministry of Transport after graduating in 1981 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law before holding posts as Assistant Vice-Minister and Railway Bureau Senior Deputy Director General as well as Automobile Bureau Director General since August 2013

Mr Shinji Mori appointed Policy Bureau Director General; joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating in 1981 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law before holding posts as Assistant Vice-Minister, and Director General of Land and Construction Industry Bureau as well as Deputy Minister for Construction, Engineering and Real Estate Industry since March 2015

Mr Takuya Kurita appointed City Bureau Director General; joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating in 1984 from University of Kyoto Faculty of Law before holding post as Assistant Vice-Minister since January 2014

Mr Masafumi Mori appointed Roads Bureau Director General; joined old Ministry of Construction after graduating in 1981 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering before holding post as Deputy Director General for Engineering Affairs as well as Kinki Bureau Maintenance Director General since July 2012

Mr Naoki Fujii appointed Automobile Bureau Director General; joined old Ministry of Transport after graduating in 1983 from University of Tokyo Faculty of Law before holding post as Assistant Vice-Minister as well as Director-General, Public Transport Policy Department, Policy Bureau since August 2013

Mr Michio Sakuchi appointed Ports and Harbours Director General; joined old Ministry of Transport after graduating in 1985 from University of Tohoku Postgraduate School of Engineering before holding post as Deputy Director General for Engineering Affairs since July 2014