« 温室ガス目標 やっと「25%減」が撤回された | トップページ | ASEAN外交 安保・経済で戦略的な連携に »

2013年11月20日 (水)

JR北海道 徹底監査で不正を洗い出せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 20, 2013
Thoroughly inspect JR Hokkaido to shed light on all irregularities
JR北海道 徹底監査で不正を洗い出せ(11月19日付・読売社説)

The situation at Hokkaido Railway Co. is so serious that we can only believe the company trivializes safety, a disgraceful attitude for a railway operator.

It has come to light that JR Hokkaido falsified railroad track inspection data, including information concerning gauge measurements, to give the impression the company is complying with regulations.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is conducting a special maintenance inspection that will last for an indefinite period. In light of the seriousness of the latest development, this is reasonable. We hope the ministry will thoroughly probe every corner of the railway operator, which severely lacks discipline.

After a freight train derailed on the JR Hakodate Line in September, it was found that JR Hokkaido had left uncorrected track gauge differences at several places.

During an in-house investigation following this discovery, however, the railroad maintenance and management office in Hakodate reported to JR Hokkaido’s head office that “no irregularities were found,” although they found several that had been left uncorrected. The maintenance office also entered false data into its computer. This gives a general picture of the latest problem.

Earlier, irregularities were said to have been left uncorrected at 270 places. But with the disclosure of the latest problem, the number of irregularities is believed to be even greater. We cannot help but label this as extremely wicked and deceitful.

The data was believed to have been falsified in preparation for the ministry’s special inspection held in September just after the derailment accident. There is a possibility JR Hokkaido’s actions may constitute an obstruction of inspections, especially in view of the false report, both prohibited under the Railway Business Law.

Identify those responsible

The ministry must first identify the employees involved in falsifying the data and those who may have instructed them to do so, while clarifying the chain of command.

Forty-four offices are in charge of railroad maintenance work within Hokkaido. Has any other office provided false data other than the one in Hakodate?

In another scandalous development, a JR Hokkaido driver damaged a switch on his train’s automatic train stop system after causing the system to improperly function, apparently in an attempt to conceal his mistake. JR Hokkaido cannot escape being condemned for its trait of concealing irregularities prevailing within the company.

The ministry needs to take its responsibility seriously for its failure to detect irregularities at JR Hokkaido, despite two special inspections following the derailment, and to investigate the whole problem thoroughly.

JR Hokkaido management has repeatedly issued a public apology every time an irregularity comes to light, and promised to improve corporate culture. However, it has yet to work out any effective measures to prevent irregularities from recurring.

JR Hokkaido President Makoto Nojima has indicated his company will establish a committee to discuss ways to improve operations, with an outside expert included as a member. This comes far too late in the day. It is questionable whether Nojima has any will to reform his company.

It is obvious that the top management lacks awareness of corporate governance, and should be replaced.

Some observers have pointed out that as labor unions have a strong say within the company, managers do not fully command every work site.

JR Hokkaido must expedite its efforts to cure the malady that has run through the company since it was part of the now-defunct, state-run Japanese National Railways.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 19, 2013)
(2013年11月19日02時17分  読売新聞)


« 温室ガス目標 やっと「25%減」が撤回された | トップページ | ASEAN外交 安保・経済で戦略的な連携に »





« 温室ガス目標 やっと「25%減」が撤回された | トップページ | ASEAN外交 安保・経済で戦略的な連携に »