Introduction of open and optimised railway solutions

Product development in Japan is dominated by operators who appoint manufacturers to develop new products according to the specifications defined by every operator within a closed and vertically integrated system, instead of allowing manufacturers the freedom to find the most appropriate solution. This makes the Japanese market unique in comparison to other markets, where “buying standardised off the shelf” is far more common. Additionally, we have observed in recent years that the uniqueness of the Japanese market is being exported outside of Japan, in particular within JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) financed projects. This is true even for railway markets where international standards are already established.


  • The Government of Japan should promote and encourage open and optimised railway solutions, as a way to boost competition in the domestic market and export prospects for Japanese manufacturers under EU-Japan mutual cooperation.
  • The Japanese Government should also encourage the utilisation of open and optimised railway solutions in JICA financed projects overseas.
  • The Japanese Government, research institutes, railway operators and industry should continue their dialogue on this theme.