JR West execs return part of pay over Nozomi case

Jiji Press OSAKA (Jiji Press) — West Japan Railway Co. President Tatsuo Kijima said Friday that 11 executives, including himself, will return part of their pay over a recent incident that nearly caused a derailment of a Shinkansen bullet train.

JR West also demoted Representative Director and Vice President Norihiko Yoshie, head of its railway operations, to the post of director at his own request, Kijima told a press conference.

Kijima and Yoshie will return half of their pay for the next three months. Besides the 11 executives, two full-time auditors will return part of their pay on a voluntary basis.

The company reprimanded the chief of its train vehicle management department over the incident, Kijima said.

Meanwhile, JR West named three officials as new vice presidents serving as representative directors, increasing the number of people at the post to four from two.

In the incident, which occurred on Dec. 11, crew members of the Nozomi No. 34 train continued operations even though they had noticed abnormalities. Later, a train car was found to have a deep crack on the undercarriage.

“I’m responsible for a defect in the Shinkansen’s safety management system and for greatly damaging the company’s credibility,” Kijima said.

The company has no time to waste to restore public trust in the safety of train operations, Kijima said, denying he intends to resign.

JR West will establish a panel of outside experts on Monday to review the incident. The panel will be chaired by Kansai University Prof. Seiji Abe.Speech

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