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Here's a news segment from JNN on November 29, 1985. In the early hours of that day, there were attacks on signal cables and boxes, transformers, and stations, ultimately totaling 33. Carried out by Chukaku-ha in support of Doro Chiba, this was in opposition to the privatization of JNR which as we all know went ahead on April 1, 1987. I will avoid political commentary but you can check out the Wikipedia links below 😁. By 1 PM, Asahi News reported the 33 incidents as summarized by the NPA: Saitama - 3 cables cut Chiba - 1 cable cut Tokyo 15 cables cut Arson at Asakusabashi Station Kanagawa - 3 cables cut Kyoto - arson at one transformer Osaka 2 cables damaged by arson arson at 2 signal boxes arson at 2 transformers Okayama - 1 cable cut Hiroshima 1 cable cut 1 case of arson, undefined The video thumbnail below is Shinagawa Depot, probably not usually full during daytime hours. Other points of interest in the video: 1:15 - Reporter Hoshino at JNR Headquarters 2:00 - Interior condition of Asakusabashi Station around 5PM 2:30 - First image of several of signal crews working on cut cables. This is around Nakano on the Chuo Line. 6:37 - Tobacco-equipped Osakan 8:38 - Signal guys looking at a diagram of the cable cross section. Best of luck, gentlemen. 8:55 - Shin-Osaka Substation in Suita 9:19 - Alcohol-equipped Tokyoite 9:30 - Asakusabashi Station around 6:45 AM 10:50 - JNR passengers taking their business to Keisei at Tsudanuma Station 12:52 - Doro Chiba meeting(?), guy with binoculars. 14:10 - Takaya Sugiura, the last director of JNR 20:55 - Police entering Chukaku-ha office 21:10 - apparently archival footage of Mr. Kamata, of some role at Chukaku-ha, then under arrest 21:20 - Chukaku-ha demonstration near Tsudanuma 21:35 - January 1984 arson attack on the Police Science Institute 21:50 - anti Narita Airport riot 23:20 - Police at Doro Chiba office 25:50 - CTC room full of guys probably not having a good time Interesting. Unlike the Japan I think of, perhaps it goes to show that societies do change. Chukaku-ha - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Communist_League,_National_Committee Doro Chiba - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Chiba_Motive_Power_Union Doro, from which Doro Chiba split in 1979 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Locomotive_Engineers'_Union Kokuro - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Workers'_Union
NHK was running a news item a day or two ago about the referendum on the Osaka-to plan being voted down by a slim margin. There was also some mention of the plan to privatize the subway. Will this still go ahead? It was said that the system has been running in the black for a few years now. If it were to be sold, would the sale price be enough to pay off existing construction (et cetera) debts? Or would there be other consideration to cover this? Or would the taxpayer be on the hook, while still paying fares, while the new owner makes bank? :(
bikkuri bahn posted a topic in Japan Rail: News & General DiscussionI was away on holiday when media reports were made, but it seems fault is being placed with the personnel policy/ training of maintenance staff at JR Hokkaido with regards the spate of breakdowns/fires, mainly on diesel stock. I think it was either westfalen or Mark Newton who remarked that he thought that management policy w/ regards maintenance was the culprit, and that observation indeed appears precognizant. The article I read states that JR Hokkaido is first of all faced with unique problems w/ regards its diesel stock- older models (1/2 the roster is over 20 yrs. old) that are required to run at high speeds over long distances (service speeds and distances on ltd. express services which elsewhere in Japan are entrusted to electric stock). Also, winter conditions with expansion and contraction of metal surfaces and parts that imposes stress on them. But the biggest issue may be personnel. JR Hokkaido has relatively few experienced maintenance personnel in their 40's to 50's (about 1/5 of the total maintenance staff). Therefore there is a deficit of knowhow. Many maintenance tasks now need to be outsourced...Blame for this is placed on a reduction of hiring of personnel since the breakup of JNR and privatization. Currently JR Hokkaido is relying on the advice of "big brother" JR East to reform its maintenance regime. Nihon Keizai Shimbun article (Japanese): http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNASDG0204F_S3A800C1CR8000/