China’s CCTV went viral on Japan train that keeps going for only one passenger

January 12, 2016 1:00 pm

 

The Kami-Shirataki station. Photo / Wikipedia creative commons

For the past three years, a train has stopped at the remote Kami-Shirataki station in the far north of just twice a day.
At 7:04am prompt, it takes on a single passenger – a student on her way to school – and brings her home again at 5:08pm.
The
student’s journey to school may be lonely, but the operator of the
line, the Hokkaido Railway Co, has been praised for its commitment to
its customers after a story about the service by China’s CCTV went viral.
The
railway company had planned to shut the station down three years ago as
it was virtually unused, until it realised that a single student was
still boarding the train every school-day morning and alighting every
evening.
Hokkaido Railway Co decided to keep the station open
only until the girl – who has not been named in media reports –
graduates from high school in March.

“This is the meaning of good governance penetrating right to the grassroot level”, said one poster on the CCTV Facebook page. “Every citizen matters. No child left behind!”
And while the story has led to praise for the railway firm, it does underline the population crisis that Japan faces.
Hokkaido,
the most northerly of Japan’s four main islands, has had services on 20
railway lines halted in recent years. The population in this rural and
remote part of the country is declining more rapidly than the national
average.
By 2060, Japan’s population is forecast to have aged
dramatically and contracted by as much as one-third to around 85 million
people, with most living in the cities.

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