Tribute Paid to Karuizawa Bus Crash Victims 7 Years On


Karuizawa, Nagano Pref., Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)--Bereaved families and others on Sunday remembered victims of a ski tour bus crash in the town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, seven years ago.

Relatives of victims, officials from the Japanese transport ministry and the Karuizawa town government, representatives from the bus industry and others renewed their determination to ensure safe bus services at a meeting held at the municipal office of the town. Mourners laid flowers at a monument erected at the site of the accident and offered silent prayers.

The crash, which occurred around 1:50 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2016, killed 15 people aboard the tour bus--13 university students and two crew members--and injured 26 other people.

Yoshinori Tahara, 57, who heads a group of bereaved families, lost his second son, Kan, 19, in the accident. "The grief and regret that I felt when I came here right after the accident and my thought that such a thing must never happen again will not change no matter how many years go by," he said.

Over the accident, two people, including Misaku Takahashi, the 61-year-old president of Tokyo-based company ESP, which operated the ski tour bus, are on trial for their alleged professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press