National

JR Tokai increases number of security guards on bullet trains after stabbing rampage but won’t implement baggage inspections

JIJI

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) has increased the number of security guards on bullet trains in the wake of a knife rampage last weekend that left one passenger dead and two others injured, company President Shin Kaneko said Wednesday.

The company also plans to have more police officers on shinkansen trains and introduce a smartphone-based system by August that allows crew members to communicate with each other simultaneously in the event of an emergency, Kaneko told a news conference.

The company chief, however, balked at the idea of carrying out baggage inspections for shinkansen passengers before boarding.

“It’s difficult to implement, because the convenience of the railway service could be sacrificed,” Kaneko said. “We have no choice but to ensure security through other measures.”

The stabbing spree by a 22-year-old man occurred on a Tokaido Shinkansen train between Shin-Yokohama and Odawara stations in Kanagawa Prefecture on Saturday night.

“It’s an absolutely unforgivable crime,” Kaneko said. “We offer our heartfelt condolences for the deceased passenger.”