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Japan keeps this defunct train station running for just one passenger


For years, there’s been just one passenger who regularly waits at the Kyu-Shirataki* train station, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan:A high-school girl, on her way to class. Trains stops there only a few times a day—once to pick up the girl for school and a few times after the school day is over.

It sounds like a Hayao Miyazaki film. But, according to CCTV News, Japan Railways—the group that operates the country’s railway network—has kept the underused station open for years for a good reason.

Ridership at the Kyu-Shiratakistation and a few neighboring ones had dramatically fallen because of the remote location, and freight service had ended there as well. But students depend on the train for transit, and parents asked that the company keep the station open for their children. Japan Railways will keep operating the station until March, when the fiscal year ends—and when this teen graduates, according to the Asahi Shimbun.*

People are tipping their hats to the Japanese government for making education a top priority. “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,” one commenter wrote


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