“A train company has been stopping at a remote station for the past three years to pick up just one passenger.
The Kami-Shirataki station in Hokkaido, Japan, is visited by a train twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, so that a schoolgirl can get to class and home on time.
Teenager, Kana, catches the service at 7.04am every day and returns promptly at 5.08pm, and she is the only person to use the station.“
My good friend, Chris forwarded the above article to me. He thought I should read this interesting train story from Japan. This heartwarming story is nothing new of the Japanese society. It clearly reflects the uniqueness of Japanese culture and their idiosyncratic way of life.
From the above news article, it’s so obvious that the train company is losing tons of money over the past 3 years just to pick up the only passenger. The operating costs such as fuel, maintenance of the remote station, railway tracks, staff etc all cost money. It’s as good as running empty ghost trains incurring high operating costs just to cater to the sole passenger. Utter madness?
The school girl was treated more than an VIP by the rail company. It just doesn’t make any economic sense at all. Economists or any greedy commercial entity will scream “stupidity” within the 4 walls of highfalutin board meeting and the Operations Director will definitely get the sack!
I believe no other places in the world that such losing money venture will be allowed to bleed for 3 full years as in the above example in Japan. We need not go far, remember how our Potong Pasir and Buangkok stations were not opened but delayed for quite some time even though they were ready for full operations due to its “low demand and economically infeasible?”
That’s the difference between us and the Japanese. In fact, that’s also the difference between the Japanese and the rest of the world! The Japanese are a great race with its unique culture that no other race, culture or society could hold a candle to them.
I could go on and on singing praises about the Japanese. There are so many anecdotes especially my conversation with Japanese passengers in my previous life, to talk about. But that will be another blog another time.
Suffice to say, whilst drafting this short blog post, my friend Encik forwarded a video clip to me. Pls watch it yourself to reaffirm what I just said.