Former Executive Found Not Guilty Of Negligence In Japan Train Crash

Masao Yamazaki, former president of one of Japan’s largest rail operators, was cleared of charges of negligence in the fatal 2005 commuter train crash.  Yamazaki was the rail official in charge of safety for the company in 1996 when it sharpened the curve where the crash occurred 9 years later.  The 2005 accident in the city of Amagasaki killed 107 people and injured 550 when the train derailed during rush hour and crashed into a residential tower.

Yamazaki became president of West Japan Railway after the crash, but he resigned from the position after his indictment in 2009.  Prosecutors argued that he failed to take safety precautions that would monitor the speed of bullet trains going around the bend.  However, Kobe District Court Judge Makoto Okada ruled that there was no reason for Yamazaki to install this type of speed-controlling device prior to the accident.  Mr. Yamakazi was found not guilty of negligence, but three other former senior executives in the company have been indicted under similar charges.


{ 1 comment }

kaitoku January 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

The line in question is a commuter line, not one that hosts “bullet” trains. Bullet trains have been equipped with ATC cab signaling which provide overspeed control (by definition) since they first started running in 1964.

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