JR Hokkaido to Lease Tourist Trains from JR East, Tokyu

Society Guide to Japan Travel

Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--Struggling Hokkaido Railway Co., or JR Hokkaido, said Tuesday it will rent tourist trains from East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, and Tokyu Corp. <9005> and operate them in its service area, as part of efforts to shore up its business performance.

Through the move, JR Hokkaido, which serves the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, also aims to revitalize the local economy.

JR Hokkaido, one of the six passenger service companies of the Japan Railways (JR) Group, has been ordered by the government to boost its earnings in exchange for state financial aid to be extended to the railway operator.

JR East and Tokyu, also a railway operator, will support the reconstruction of Hokkaido, which has faced a fall in the number of tourists following a powerful earthquake there in September last year. Hokkaido has a number of tourist destinations.

"We'll make all-out efforts to attract tourists from both at home and abroad and strengthen earnings," JR Hokkaido President Osamu Shimada told a press conference in Tokyo the same day.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

railway tourism JR Hokkaidō JR Jiji Press JR East