As reflection to the random killing incident on the Taipei Metro Blue Line, MOTC Deputy Minister Chih-Ku Fan and MOI Political Vice Minister Chun-Ching Chen led 12 government units including Police Dept, Fire Dept and Railway Supervision and Operation Dept on an inspection tour in Japan to strengthen our national railway safety strategies. The inspection started from Aug. 24 to 30, 2014 focusing on mechanisms and implementation of contingency response toward transportation safety incidents.
In this inspection tour in Japan, the inspection team visited their railway supervision, operation and police units including Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), East Japan Railway Company and Tokyo Metro. The Japan Government has been annually holding "Railway Anti-terrorism Strategy Communication Meetings" since 2005 in response to the "Tokyo subway sarin attack" and railway bombing incidents throughout the world. The Meeting discussions always surrounded its backbone: "Warnings are everywhere and full participation is compulsory" and continuously evaluated and improved relevant contingency prevention, deterrence and response measures toward possible terrorist attacks. When encountering a railway incident, the Japanese Government uniformly promulgates the emergency management levels according to level of threat or severity of the happening incident and commands the operational unit to implement obligatory protection measures. The emergency manage levels includes "green" which represents general alert and "yellow" or "red" representing high or hazardous alert. Furthermore, the Taiwan inspection team visited research units including Hitachi, Ltd. and Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) to interpret on the innovative technologies and strategies Japan has made in reaction to the coming 2020 Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo. The research units are currently striving to accomplish anti-terrorism high-tech innovations including the face recognition & surveillance system, trajectory tracking system and explosive detection devices in which they demonstrated research results for the reference of the inspection team.
In review of this overseas inspection, the contingency response measures of Taiwan are in the same orientation as Japan. On the other hand, it is clear that Japan emphasizes more on alert visibility and anti-terrorism technology. Therefore, MOTC has commanded operational organizations to not only improve safety alert and warning signals but also promote intelligent surveillance demonstration projects to heighten the overall safety mechanisms of our national railway transportation.