Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Japan’s famous shinkansen trains desperate for a magic bullet

People who want to travel now prefer to drive in their own cars to avoid human contact.

Other News

Heavy security, roads closed after farmer riots in India

The farmers, mostly from northern Indian states including Punjab, want new agricultural reforms scrapped that they fear will leave them at the mercy of big corporations.

Guru boleh tetapkan kaedah PdPR bersesuaian di luar talian, kata menteri

Antara kaedah luar talian yang digunakan ialah penyerahan modul pembelajaran atau latihan kepada murid.

Hamzah pulih Covid-19, dibenarkan pulang

Setiausaha akhbar beliau, Zulkifli Bujang mengesahkan perkara itu.

Two-thirds of world see ‘climate emergency’, UN survey shows

The large majority of those who do recognise a climate emergency want urgent and comprehensive action, says Oxford sociologist.

Homemade and fabric masks no longer good enough in Europe

European countries to require medical-grade masks or respirators in public but other healthcare bodies disagree.

Airlines are not the only form of mass-transportation the coronavirus pandemic is laying low; Japan’s world-famous bullet trains are running nearly empty.

A national campaign aimed at enlivening domestic travel is not delivering the hoped-for passenger boost for Japan’s shinkansen, or bullet trains. The campaign offers subsidies of up to 50% on transport, hotels and tourist attractions within Japan.

Such steep discounts combined with the railway companies’ high fixed costs, means shinkansen operators will struggle to return to profitability even after the pandemic is over, Hiroshige Muraoka, an analyst at Nomura Research Institute told Bloomberg.

Some politicians have already labelled the campaign a failure. Others are concerned that promoting tourism will only spread Covid-19 more widely.

Coronavirus case numbers are still increasing, leaving people reluctant to take even short breaks for fear of infection, and many people who do want to travel prefer to drive in their own cars to avoid human contact.

The Tokaido Shinkansen is the high-speed bullet train running between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. This is the fastest and most comfortable route for passengers travelling between Kyoto, an industrial city and tourist destination, and other major cities in Japan.

In July, international tourists to Kyoto were down 99.8% from a year earlier, and numbers have hovered at close to zero for four consecutive months, while domestic travellers dropped 50%, according to the city’s tourism association.

Yui Muranushi, a 24-year-old geisha who works in Kyoto’s high-end entertainment district, had been planning to visit Tokyo once a week in July by bullet train to perform at events as the nation prepared for the summer Olympics, which have now been delayed until next year.

“Now, all my business in Tokyo has been cancelled,” Muranushi said. “Company executives are no longer visiting tea houses and I’m lucky if I have a single client.”

Despite passengers disappearing, Japan is still introducing new bullet trains intended to roll out for the 2020 Tokyo games. The new trains can reach speeds of 360kph, but will be capped at “just” 285kph for passenger operations. The makers also claim the train is earthquake-proof.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

With 6 months to go, cancellation fears cloud Tokyo Olympics

A poll this month found 80% of respondents opposed hosting the event this year, with 35% favouring outright cancellation and 45% calling for further postponement.

Japan planning mass virus jabs ahead of Olympics, reports say

The government is hoping the majority of adults will be vaccinated by July, when the Games are due to open.

Tokyo Olympics ‘unlikely’, says London 2012 official

Deputy chairman of London 2012 organising committee says Tokyo officials should be making plans to cancel.

80% of Japanese say Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled or won’t happen

Poll results show people are growing more doubtful of the need for the Olympics in the face of the current surge.

South Korean court orders Japan to compensate WW2 sex slaves

The issue of Korean 'comfort women' continues to blight relations between Seoul and Tokyo decades after the end of World War Two.