OTSU, Shiga Pref. – A memorial service was held Sunday in Koka, Shiga Prefecture, to mark the 15th anniversary of a train collision that killed 42 people and injured more than 600.
Participants observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims.
Shunzo Yoshizaki, head of a group of victims’ families, was among the participants. The 72-year-old Yoshizaki, from Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, lost his wife in the accident.
West Japan Railway Co. President Masao Yamazaki also attended.
On May 14, 1991, a JR West train carrying visitors to a world pottery fair in the town of Shigaraki collided head-on with a Shigaraki Kogen Railway train on a single-track railway. Shigaraki later became the city of Koka through a municipal merger.
“We should not forget about the incident,” Yoshizaki said in a speech. “JR West pledged safety improvements (after the Shigaraki accident), but it again had an accident in Amagasaki. I feel distrust.”
He called on JR West to do its best to promote corporate reform for the sake of safety.
Attending the memorial service was Mitsuko Fujisaki, 66, who lost a daughter in the fatal JR West train accident in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, in April 2005.
Since the Amagasaki accident, Fujisaki has kept in touch with a group formed by the families of the victims and people who were injured in the 1991 accident.