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About the Association of Japanese Private Railways

Greetings from Chairman

Member companies of the Association of Japanese Private Railways work every day to provide safe, secure and comfortable transport services to support the communities and industries of each region and to contribute to the realization of enriched lifestyles and the development of the economy and society.

Upholding the motto of Safety First, all member companies make maximum efforts to ensure the safety of daily operations, while working together with a sense of speed and urgency on safety and security initiatives, including crisis management measures and responses to large-scale disasters, such as earthquakes and floods.

Aiming to increase the customer comfort and convenience of the railway services we provide, we are working with partners to improve the user environment. From infrastructure to systems and urban development, we focus on improving train connection convenience, reducing travel times, easing congestion, and developing more user-friendly station and rail car environments.

In view of the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and the recent boom in inbound traffic to Japan, we are also undertaking initiatives to provide increased ease of use for passengers visiting from overseas. We must use this opportunity to demonstrate the excellence of Japan's railway services. Such initiatives include not only displays in foreign languages and expanded Wi-Fi services, but also the development of products suited to a diverse range of needs, expanded use of IC cards, and infrastructure development to offer barrier-free facilities.

We are also enhancing efforts to increase the use of energy-saving cars in order to promote Japan's private railways as a public transportation system that is friendly to both the environment and people.

Today, Japan is approaching an operating environment that will prove extremely difficult for the railway business. This includes dramatic population declines, advanced population aging, and increased restrictions on energy use. To address such an environment, private railway operators will have to analyze future prospects deftly and work to offer railway services and business operations that go beyond simply being appropriate for the times to in fact stay ahead of the times.

We continue to see more and more difficult times for rural railways due to declining transportation demand. However, railways are an invaluable part of the public infrastructure for these communities and railways also serve a vital role as a tourism resource. We will strengthen partnerships with the national government and the communities along our routes to gain the support of relevant parties while working to provide all the support we can as the Association of Private Railways.

We will continue to work proactively to address these and other issues as we strive to meet the expectations of our passengers and local communities. We ask for your continued understanding and support.

May 29, 2015
Yoshizumi Nezu
Chairman, Association of Japanese Private Railways