City in Osaka Prefecture passes resolution against local railway company sell
OSAKA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The municipal assembly of the western Japanese city of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture passed a resolution on Wednesday which urges the prefecture to withdraw its plan to sell a private railway company to a U.S. investment firm amid rising concerns that the plan puts too much emphasis on the bidding price, city officials said.
The decision was taken during the municipal assembly session held on Wednesday, where the assembly said that the prefecture's proposal to sell the non-profit railway operator, Semboku Rapid Railway, would neglect improvements to make the rail line more convenient. Instead it would prioritize the selling price to be paid by the fund, according to the Sakai City Council's spokesperson.
The resolution also said a series of ideas proposed by the U.S. investment firm, including possible train fare reductions, do not all reflect the views expressed by local passengers in their suggestions, noting that the prefecture should start over with a clean slate instead of trying to make gains from the pending sale.
The spokesperson told Xinhua that Osaka Prefecture has shared its idea to sell the railway company, which run trains on the 15- kilometer section between two cities in the prefecture, including Sakai, to Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, which has reportedly proposed purchasing the railway operator for 6 billion yen (about 58 million U.S. dollars) more than its competitor, a major Osakan railway company.