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No.2
No.2 ,Discussions  Sep 30, 2010

THE SYSTEM BEHIND JAPAN’S HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK

If the railroad industry were likened to a living organism, the perfect analogue would be plants. Tracks are firmly rooted to the ground, with train lines covering a fixed span of territory. When neighborhoods prosper, so does the industry, with more trains running through them; when they decline, the line also falls into disuse. Train service cannot move to new locales when the number of passengers declines; it continues to live and grow with the community it serves. Rootedness is a common trait of the industry in countries around the world. When the social environment changes, the industry must adapt to the changes or face extinction. Inasmuch as railroad lines cannot “migrate” to greener pastures like animals, they must develop thoroughgoing strategies for adapting to change. The single most outstanding feature of rail transport in Japan is its capacity to adjust the entire system ... ... [Read more]

No.1
No.1 ,Discussions  Jul 31, 2010

POLICY INITIATIVES TOWARD AN EAST ASIAN COMMUNITY

In a January 2002 speech given in Singapore, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō proposed an economic partnership between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the first step toward the creation of an East Asian community. Ever since then, this concept has remained at the core of Japan’s Asia policy. It was reconfirmed again in Prime Minister Kan Naoto’s policy speech delivered on June 11 this year, in which he stated that “Japan is a maritime nation bordering the Pacific Ocean and is at the same time an Asian nation.” Based on this duality, he went on, he intended to maintain Japan’s alliance with the United States as “the cornerstone of our diplomacy” even as he moved to “reinforce our partnerships with Asian countries.”... [Read more]

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