Passengers on overnight bus journeys in Japan will likely get a little more sleep from Friday, after a new regulation was introduced requiring a relief driver to be present on long-haul expressway night buses.
The regulation, introduced in the wake of a tragic bus accident in April, will reassure travelers who may have been apprehensive about using overnight bus services with only one driver.
But the rule has also prompted roughly a third of chartered bus firms to stop offering expressway services as part of a shakeup of an industry in which intense competition appears to have driven companies to flout safety regulations in favor of cost-cutting.
Highway buses are considered a cheaper alternative to bullet trains and airplanes for long-distance travel in Japan, where transportation can come at a hefty price. But the accident in April, which killed seven passengers and injured 39, has refocused attention on the industry's safety standards.
A government report released Wednesday revealed that out of 298 chartered bus companies surveyed, a shocking 84% were violating bus-safety regulations.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )