Headquarters: Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
President: Yuji Fukasawa
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is the main railway company operating in the Kanto region and is the largest railway company in the nation. It is the largest of the seven private companies created by the breakup of the state-run Japanese National Railways in 1987. Its annual income is in the range of US$30 billion.
-JR East announces that it will conduct autonomous test runs of its E7-series Shinkansen in autumn 2021, hoping that driverless trains can help it overcome labor shortages.
-JR East, Hitachi, and Toyota have entered into a collaboration to create railway vehicles equipped with hybrid systems using hydrogen powered fuel cells and storage batteries as their source of electricity. The so-called Hybari trains will begin railway testing in March 2022.
-President Yuji Fukasawa confirms that trains in the Tokyo area will, as of spring 2021, end their services about 30 minutes earlier each day. Even the Yamanote Line will be complete its services by 1 am at the latest.
-JR East holds the “Takanawa Gateway Fest,” a showcase for smart technologies at the new station on the Tokyo Yamanote Line. A key exhibit is an automated ticket gate with a facial recognition system, which the firm expected to deploy in future months or years.
-JR East President Yuji Fukasawa declares that “we won’t return to the situation before the epidemic.” The company will be shifting its fare structure, including the possibility of changing the prices of boarding the trains depending on the time of day.