Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities

Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities

The Japanese Experience

Fumitoshi Mizutani

Covering issues such as deregulation, privatization, organizational reforms, and competition policy, Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities provides a comprehensive summary of regulatory reforms in Japanese public utility industries.

Chapter 6: Railway

Fumitoshi Mizutani

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics


The main purpose of this chapter is to explain the industrial structure and regulatory scheme of the rail industry in Japan, which is comprised of more than 200 rail organizations. Most are privately owned entities where train operation and infrastructure are integrated, in contrast to the organizations making up the rail industry in Europe. Moreover, the privatization in 1987 of the former state railway, the Japan National Railway (JNR), has differed from the privatization process in other countries, with regulatory changes in Japan appearing rather moderate compared to the radical reforms taking place in, for example, the UK. Instead of introducing direct competition among operators, the indirect competition scheme of yardstick regulation has been adopted. After the introduction, in the second section, the organizational structure of the rail industry in Japan is explained, with attention to analyzing the demand situation and classifying types of rail operators. The third section summarizes regulations in the rail industry, including those regarding entry and exit, fare, rail track fees, and others.

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