14 TRANSPORT ADMINISTRATION
Establishment of Corporation for Advanced Transport and Technology
The Corporation for Advanced Transport and Technology was established on October 1, 1997, as the entity integrating the Railway Development Fund and the Maritime Credit Corporation, a move to consolidate and rationalize public corporations. The new corporation inherits the operations of both predecessors and conducts basic research into new transportation technologies. Duties related to railway development include (1) subsidizing the construction of new Shinkansen bullet train lines, (2) subsidizing the development of trunk railway lines, (3) subsidizing the development of urban railways, (4) promoting and subsidizing the development of railway technologies, such as linear motor cars, (5) subsidizing safety and disaster control measures, and (6) redeeming inherited liabilities. Its duties related to ship development include providing funds for building domestic passenger ferries and freighters in association with Japanese marine transportation businesses, and administrating vessels under the shared construction method. It also undertakes researches into marine transportation technologies, soliciting ideas and proposals from the public.
Council for Transport Policy
This Transport Ministry organization was established on May 20, 1970, as an advisory panel to the Minister of Transport. It complements the Transport Council, which was established by legislative regulations. Upon request from the Minister of Transport, the Council for Transport Policy devises basic policies or plans for comprehensive transportation systems, studies basic administration policies and plans within the jurisdiction of the ministry, and compiles recommendations for submission to the relevant ministers. The panel comprises up to 50 academics and industry experts on 2-year terms, appointed by the Minister of Transport. It can assign ad-hoc or specialist members as required by the topic being discussed.