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[Resource] Sankei Web 6/12/02
Page first written 30 January 2003
Last updated 31 January 2003

Japan's motorway privatisation promotion committee's rubbish final report

Although now an old news, I believe that this report about "privatisation" of Japan Highway Public Corporation is really nothing but a rubbish.

The only point I can agree with it is that the current institutional structure is not sustainable. All the others, including the fundamental questions like "Why privatisation?" is not answered after all the report is read. Not only the grand design but the details are confused. The proposed organisation that owns the road stock and repay for the debt will not take over a number of "apparently unprofitable" lines; among them is Futtsu Tateyama Road that goes along the Uchibo Coast in Chiba Prefecture, next to the capital of Tokyo. It is now under construction and partially open, and will be integrated into metropolitan road network once the final section is completed! I can never believe that any data can justify this decision that this line is "apparently unprofitable" forever.

Well, nevertheless this might be better than just hanging on to the current structure. What we should do now is, therefore, to prepare for the possible collapse of the new scheme, just like the Railways Act 1993 of the United Kingdom -- this included, from the very beginning, clauses on "Railway Administration", based on which the troubled company Railtrack was put into administration. Then the Japanese can happily wait until the current government is replaced by another, more competent one.

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TAKAGI, Ryo webmaster@takagi-ryo.ac
(c) R. Takagi 2003. All rights reserved.