The transport ministry will conduct an inspection of East Japan Railway Co. this month following a recent chain of incidents that disrupted services on lines in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, transport minister Nobuteru Ishihara said Friday.

Other than prearranged regular inspections, the ministry has never entered JR East facilities to conduct a check, ministry officials said.

The unprecedented inspection will take place at the carrier’s headquarters and concerned branch offices to see if there is an organizational problem affecting JR East’s ability to maintain the safety of its rail network.

“We have decided to conduct the inspection as the company has made simple mistakes that led to a recent series of incidents that had a bad effect on society,” an official in charge of railway facilities at the ministry’s Railway Bureau said.

On Sept. 28, the JR Chuo Line was paralyzed for eight hours due to prolonged overnight construction work, affecting some 180,000 passengers. On Monday, a roughly four-hour delay occurred on the Keihin Tohoku Line during morning rush hour, affecting thousands of people.

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