Two JR companies plan to install more security cameras on their shinkansen (bullet trains), following the suicide by fire of a 71-year-old man in a bullet train between Shin-Yokohama and Odawara stations on June 30.
A 52-year-old woman also died of smoke asphyxiation in the incident, which was the first time that a fire has occurred on the shinkansen trains since they began running in 1964.
JR Tokai and JR West said they will install two new security cameras inside each car to cover the aisles and interiors, Fuji TV reported. Currently, security cameras are installed at the rear of each car.
The new cameras will be installed on the trains from next fiscal year and will be completed by 2018.
Security cameras have been thus far kept to a minimum due to concerns that the privacy of passengers would be infringed upon.
Moreover, security cameras will be added to both the doors exiting the train car, as well as outside the lavatories where it had been previously near-impossible to see.
Meanwhile, JR officials said it would be difficult to screen all baggage, which was brought up at a meeting last week with Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta. Bullet trains carry between 800 and 1,000 passengers and usually depart an average of every 10 minutes. Baggage screening would cause big delays, JR officials said.© Japan Today