10 Years after Going Bankrupt, JAL Makes Swift Recovery

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--After going bankrupt 10 years ago with a debt of 2.3 trillion yen, the largest business failure in Japan excluding financial institutions, Japan Airlines <9201> achieved a swift recovery thanks to public assistance, as well as job cuts and management reform under Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Kyocera Corp. <6971>.

But there has been persistent criticism that generous state assistance to the airline distorted fair competition.

"We caused trouble to many parties concerned, including our shareholders, related government agencies and ministries, as well as partner financial institutions," JAL President Yuji Akasaka said in an interview held ahead of the 10th anniversary Sunday of JAL's bankruptcy.

"There are many people who are still suffering from the pain they incurred 10 years ago, and we never think that we have restored trust 100 pct," he said. "By contributing to society through our businesses and developing continuously, we hope to recover trust."

Before the bankruptcy, poor business results were normal at JAL, which had many problems, including operations with large aircraft with poor fuel efficiency and high pension payments to retirees.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press