Ceremony Marks 150th Anniversary of Japan’s 1st Railway

Society Guide to Japan

Tokyo, Oct. 6 (Jiji Press)--A ceremony to mark the upcoming 150th anniversary of the launch of Japan’s first railway was held Thursday at Tokyo Station Hotel, housed in the building of JR Tokyo Station.

The event, cosponsored by the transport ministry and the “Railway Day” executive committee, which comprises railway operators and others, was attended by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, officials of the ministry, railway industry people and others.

“We will pass on the tradition and mission of railways to the next generation,” Yuji Fukasawa, president of East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, said in a speech.

“Japanese railways have played an important role as a highly credible public transport system,” transport minister Tetsuo Saito said in a celebratory speech, which was read on his behalf by parliamentary vice transport minister Yasushi Furukawa.

Emperor Naruhito said in a speech that he has used railways since his childhood, citing his “fond memories of singing some of old railway songs” when he was an elementary school student. Praising railway industry people’s efforts to continue offering services amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Emperor Naruhito said, “I hope our country’s railway services will get through this difficult time and continue underpinning the economy and livelihoods.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press