A country’s legislative body makes laws based on the needs of the majority and not just for the need of one citizen. But for Japan, this is not the case.
For years now, the defunct train station in Kami-Shirataki, which is located at the northernmost island of Hokkaido, continues to operate for only just one passenger: a high-school girl who is yet to finish her secondary education.
The reason why the government decided to do that will truly warm your heart.
The girl who solely waits for the old train everyday.
The Kami-Shirataki signage.
Every day, the train only has two trips: the first one is when the unnamed girl goes to school and the second is when it is time for her to go home.
The Kami-Shirataki by day.
Several years ago, the ridership at the Kami-Shirataki station dwindled significantly, causing the management to cancel the operations there. The area is deeply remote and freight service has already ended at that time. Japan Railways was ready to close it down when they noticed that a high-schooler still keeps on riding the train everyday.
As lonely as the night, this station sits in the outskirts of Hokkaido.
The Kami-Shirataki in the cold, cold winter.
They then decided to maintain operations and postpone its termination until after the girl graduates. If that is not admirable enough, the management also adjusted the train’s schedule according to the girl’s daily classes.
The Kami-Shirataki train station timetable.
Notice how there are only two trips?
On March 26, 2016, the girl finally graduated from high school and the Kami-Shirataki station finally closed down.
Japan’s government has been getting praises from all over the world due to this tremendously caring act.
“Why should I not want to die for a country like this when the government is ready to go an extra mile just for me,” comments one Facebook user on CCTV News page. “This is the meaning of good governance penetrating right to the grassroot level. Every citizen matters. No Child left behind!”
Japan is known to have high-tech railways in the city. This technology is said to be expanding to rural areas, making the old railways just part of history. With the story of this girl, we can’t help but admire their government and the heart for service that their old railway system imbibes. Because even if their country is known for being highly modernized, they still believe in the value of each and every citizen and would go the extra mile so no one will be left behind.
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