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Japanese government set to tighten up aviation safety laws
24 January 2006

In an effort to ensure airline and railway safety, the government will amend safety laws to permit inspections of holding firms and investment funds that control or hold a large number of shares in airline and railway firms, ministry officials said. Holding companies and investment funds are currently not subject to safety inspections. The Construction and Transport Ministry is concerned that these companies and funds may be underinvesting in safety measures to make short-term profits. The ministry will question companies during and after April about their safety measures, including whether their executives are actively involved in drawing up and implementing safety measures, and whether they have set guidelines to deal with emergencies. Executives of holding companies and representatives of investment funds, including those who have a stake of more than 33 percent in a transport firm, will be required to attend safety seminars. (The Yomiuri Shimbun)