A message from the Chairman
It is a little known fact that when Japan’s first railroad was constructed in the 1870s, the locomotives were imported from Britain but the passenger cars came from there in pieces and were assembled in Japan. So Japan’s rolling stock industry actually began at that time, during the earliest days of rail transport in Japan.
That was the beginning of Japan’s eager adoption of rolling stock technologies from abroad to push forward with modernization, first with steam locomotives and later with electric locomotives and other advances, under the Ministry of Railways (the predecessor of the former Japanese National Railways). While those technologies were introduced and adapted one after the other, rail technologies and rolling stock most suited to the country’s topography and socioeconomic conditions were also being developed and produced in Japan. The Ministry was directly involved in railcar manufacture, but then passed this task over to private-sector makers of rolling stock and railcar components. This is how the foundation for today’s rolling stock and component manufacturing companies was established.
Japan recovered after World War II and went on to host the Tokyo Olympic Games, the first in Asia. In the same year the world’s first high-speed train, the Shinkansen, began operations. It announced a glorious new era for rolling stock technologies developed in Japan. Since then, our technology has kept leading the world, for high-speed trains, urban railways, subways and more.
Today, interest in protecting the global environment continues to grow, creating a new awareness of the fact that, with their smaller carbon footprint, railways offer a better and more economical mode of transportation. New rail projects are being promoted in many parts of the world. The Japan Association of Rolling Stock Industries has a role to play helping railways realize their promising future, and we will do our utmost to promote the further development of railroads both in Japan and abroad. We hope we can count on your support.