08 PASSENGER FERRY
Elimination of the supply-demand adjustment regulation for domestic passenger liner services (FY2001)
The plan to ease entry into the domestic passenger liner industry is designed to encourage enterprise creativity and stimulate fair and free competition in the market place to activate and improve industrial activity. Other objectives include promoting the interest of service users by diversifying and enhancing services and lowering service fares. After the supply-demand adjustment regulation is eliminated, the industry should introduce market principles to serve the interest of service users, in recognition of the industrys role as public transportation. Regulations on industry entry / exit, service fare systems, as well as those for passenger safety and protection, should be reviewed and minimized in line with changes in the socioeconomic environment.
Measures for maintaining lifeline waterway
Lifeline waterway is service routes meeting the following criteria: (1) They must link an isolated island to the mainland, two or more isolated islands, points without alternative land transportation or points between which land transportation is inconvenient. (2) They must link isolated islands or communities to locations access to which is essential for daily life; they should transport local residents as well as daily supplies. This criteria would include routes transporting tourists and industrial supplies. When the supply-demand adjustment regulation is eliminated, allowing companies to start or abandon services freely, some companies may enter partially or temporarily for cream-skimming. This would jeopardize the service to some vital routes. In such cases, the disadvantage of introducing the market principle outweighs the advantage. For routes that are difficult to sustain despite management streamlining, national and local government agencies must employ adequate financial and tax measures to maintain such routes.