• Osaka


Regarding the serious shortfalls in electrical energy predicted for Kansai and other regions of Japan this summer, it troubles me to see obvious waste by those who should know better. At this time, all segments of society should be taking action to eliminate any extravagance in their use of electrical energy.

I’d like to bring to light something I noticed recently while standing on a platform at JR Osaka station. Although this case involves JR West trains, no doubt a similar situation exists throughout Japan. A JR West train often consists of two separate trains connected together. For example, a 12-car train may be made up of an eight-car-long segment joined to a four-car segment.

I noticed recently that, at the junction of the two segments, the headlights, taillights and running lights of the opposing cars are continuously switched on. These powerful beams are pointed directly at each other and simply wasting electricity. Since I first noticed this a few weeks ago, I have found that every similarly configured JR West train is wasting energy in this way. Assuming a similar situation exists throughout Japan — involving thousands of trains — there is a tremendous waste of electricity.

The only logical reason I can imagine for not turning off these lights is that there is only one switch controlling the lights on both ends of the train. Thus, it would seem that adding a switch or two and upgrading safety protocols would be worth the long-term savings at a time when the whole country is being called upon to cut back to avoid future power shortages.

I hope that this wasteful situation will be brought to the attention of train companies throughout Japan and remedied long before we are asked to make sacrifices due to a lack of electrical supply.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

michael perrine

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