On March 12th, the day after the terrible earthquake hit Japan, the Shinkansen line in Kyushu whose construction was started in 2008 started to operate. It was one of the Shinkansen lines yet to be inaugurated to “complete” the Japanese bullet train network, which has been under development since 1964 when the first high speed commercial rail line in the world connected Tokyo and Osaka. The technology behind high speed trains is a symbol of progress and national pride for the Japanese people.
The inauguration of this new Shinkansen line couldn’t be celebrated at the time, to keep respect to the victims in Tohoku. Almost a month and a half later, JR (Japan Railways) decided that it was time to celebrate and show the world that the Japanese people when united can achieve almost anything.
“They took special efforts to film it, and 10,000+ people showed up at various places along the route, hoping to be in the commercial. They filmed 3 hours of tape, and edited it down to 3 minutes, which the director said was extremely difficult, because everything was so good that they didn’t want to leave anything out. It aired maybe a dozen times, and then the disaster struck, and the commercial was pulled, as it was thought that it was bad to show people happy and having a good time in such a difficult time. Recently though, people have begun to wish for the commercial to be shown again, as it’s a good example of how Japan can do anything when people work together, and people can and will strive again.”
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