Source: Mainichi Japan https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... bu/097000c Accessed: May 27, 2022
Source: Mainichi Japan https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... bu/097000c Accessed: May 27, 2022Yoshiyuki Kasai, the honorary chairman of Central Japan Railway Co. who played a key role in privatizing Japan National Railways in the late 1980s, has died of interstitial pneumonia, the train operator said Friday. He was 81.
Kasai, who died Wednesday, was one of the three key figures along with the former presidents of JR East and JR West who led the reform of Japan's railway system and breakup of the state-owned operator in 1987. The privatization created six regional passenger and one freight rail operator along with several other private companies.
The Tokyo native sought to sell the firm's high-speed railway systems such as maglev trains overseas, saying that its maglev technology would "take the lead in ultrafast transport services in the 21st century." In 2010, Kasai and then-U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took a demonstration ride on a maglev in Japan amid hopes to sell the system to the United States.
At home, Kasai pushed a plan for maglev trains called Linear Chuo Shinkansen to run at speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour to connect Tokyo and Nagoya, located 286 kilometers apart, in 40 minutes, less than half the time taken by existing shinkansen trains.
But he was cautious about exporting Japan's shinkensen bullet train system to China out of concerns over the transfer of key technology to the country.