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Transportation in Japan

In Japan railways are major means of passenger transportation, especially for mass and high speed transportation between major cities and commuter transportation in metropolitan areas. Seven Japan Railway companies, once state owned until 1987, cover most parts of Japan. There also are railway services operated by private rail companies, regional governments and companies funded by both regional governments and private companies.

Total railways of 23,670.7 km include entirely electrified 2,893.1 km of 1.435-m standard gauge and 89.8 km of 1.372-m narrow gauge, which 89.8 km of it is electrified. Half of 20,656.8 km 1.067-m gauge and 3.6 km of 31 km 0.762-m gauge are electrified (1994).

Railway map

Fukuoka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo and Yokohama have metro systems.

Japan has 1,152,207 km of highways with 863,003 km (including 6,114 km of expressways) paved and 289,204 km of unpaved ways (1997 est.).

Waterways are about 1,770 km; seagoing craft ply all coastal inland seas.

Japan has 84 km of pipelines for crude oil, 322 km for petroleum products, and 1,800 km for natural gas.

22 major seaports designated as special important ports by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport include Chiba, Fushiki/Toyama, Himeji, Hiroshima, Kawasaki, Kitakyushu, Kobe, Kudamatsu, Muroran, Nagoya, Niigata, Osaka, Sakai/Senpoku, Sendai/Shiogama, Shimizu, Shimonoseki, Tokyo, Tomakomai, Wakayama, Yokkaichi, and Yokohama.

Japan has 662 ships of 1,000 GRT or over, totaling 13,039,488 GRT or 18,024,969 DWT. There are 146 bulk ships, 49 cargo, 13 chemical tankers, 16 combination bulk, 4 with combination of ore and oil, 25 container, 45 liquified gas, 9 passenger, 2 passenger and cargo combination ships, 214 petroleum tankers, 22 refrigerated cargo, 48 roll-on/roll-off, 9 short-sea passenger, and 60 vehicle carriers (1999 est.).

Major airports include:

The National airlines are All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

See also: Japan