JR West conducts anti-terror drill ahead of G20 summit


West Japan Railway Co. conducted anti-terrorist drills on a bullet train and at a station ahead of next month’s Group of 20 summit in Osaka next month.

JR West carried out the drills Monday in cooperation with the Hyogo Prefectural Police and the fire department in Himeji, based on a scenario that a weapon-wielding person had assaulted passengers aboard a Nozomi train on the Sanyo Shinkansen between Aioi and Himeji stations.

Members of the train crew in protective gear tried to bring the attacker under control while other crew members helped injured passengers evacuate. Police officers stormed the train at Himeji Station and apprehended the suspect.

Firefighters performed triage duties on a platform at the station, and an anti-riot police squad collected a bag left in the train by the attacker.

“We could carry out the drills with a sense of tension in cooperation with police and fire authorities,” JR West Executive Officer Kuniaki Morikawa said after the exercise. “We’ll strengthen security further toward the G20 summit.”

Also on Monday, Finance Minister Taro Aso at a meeting in Tokyo urged top customs officials from around the country to take thorough steps to prevent terror attacks in the run-up to the G20 summit, which will bring leaders of the world’s top 20 advanced and emerging economies to the city of Osaka on June 28 and 29.

“A crucial time for customs authorities has come,” he said.

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