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Oral-History:Yoshihiro Kyotani

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[[Category:People and organizations|Kyotani]] [[Category:Engineers|Kyotani]] [[Category:Government|Kyotani]] [[Category:Inventors|Kyotani]] [[Category:Research and development labs|Kyotani]] [[Category:Universities|Kyotani]] [[Category:Profession|Kyotani]] [[Category:Business|Kyotani]] [[Category:Quality management|Kyotani]] [[Category:Research and development management|Kyotani]] [[Category:International collaboration|Kyotani]] [[Category:International trade|Kyotani]] [[Category:Engineering and society|Kyotani]] [[Category:Defense & security|Kyotani]] [[Category:World War II|Kyotani]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Kyotani]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Kyotani]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Kyotani]] [[Category:Law & government|Kyotani]] [[Category:Standardization|Kyotani]] [[Category:Materials|Kyotani]] [[Category:Conductivity & superconductivity|Kyotani]] [[Category:Superconducting magnetic energy storage|Kyotani]] [[Category:Computing and electronics|Kyotani]] [[Category:Magnetic circuits|Kyotani]] [[Category:Fields, waves & electromagnetics|Kyotani]] [[Category:Electromagnetics|Kyotani]] [[Category:Electromagnetic devices|Kyotani]] [[Category:Transportation|Kyotani]] [[Category:Rail transportation|Kyotani]] [[Category:News|Kyotani]]

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Contents

About Yoshihiro Kyotani

Yoshihiro Kyotani is an engineer who worked for the Japanese National Railroad, where he was part of the effort to develop the Bullet Train (Shinkansen). At first in charge of work relating to wheels and wheel axles on the Shinkansen, Kyotani later became deputy director of technology development, working to avoid derailments and determining train speeds. Kyotani received a bachelor's degree in machinery from Kyoto University.

The interview begins with Kyotani's childhood experiments and early education. Kyotani briefly discusses his experience at Kyoto University and then discusses his career at JNR, describing his early work as a locomotive inspector and the part he played in the Royal Family's move to have the Prince on a public train. The interview focuses most heavily on the role Kyotani played in the development of the Bullet Train (Shinkansen) and the ways in which that technology was adapted to local train systems. Kyotani then discusses the development and commercial potential of mag-lev rail systems. Kyotani discusses his current work on a tube transport system, on a combined railway/motor car, and on superconductive elevators. The interview concludes with Kyotani expressing his wish for more Japanese/American cooperation and for more field testing to be done in a technologically oriented Japanese city.

About the Interview

YOSHIHIRO KYOTANI: An Interview Conducted by William Aspray, Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, May 24, 1994

Interview #201 for the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, IEEE History Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Yoshihiro Kyotani, an oral history conducted in 1994 by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, Hoboken, NJ, USA.

Interview

INTERVIEW: Kyotani, Yoshihiro

INTERVIEWER: William Aspray

DATE: 24 May 1994

PLACE: Technova, Tokyo

[Note: Kyotani's replies are through a translator.]

Background and Early Education

Aspray:

I'd like to begin by asking you a little bit of personal information because historians always like to know about the families of people who have made contributions. Could you tell me when and where you were born, and what your parents did for their careers?

Kyotani:

My father is from Fukuyama in Hiroshima, and my mother is from Kobe next to Osaka. I was born in Fukuyama, Hiroshima.

Aspray:

Were there any members of your family who had been involved in technical careers, science and engineering? Or did you have brothers and sisters who had careers in science and engineering?

Kyotani:

My younger brother was an engineer from the military.

Aspray:

When you were growing up, were you interested in science related hobbies, such as building radios or small motors, that sort of thing?

Kyotani:

In grade school he made radios, played with microscopes and magnetics, and did mischievous kinds of things with these magnets and radios. He also made models of airplanes, boats and ships.

Aspray:

Can you please tell me about your education, all the way through but not including college? Were the schools good? What kind of training did you take? Were you a good student?

Kyotani:

He was a very mischievous kid, naughty kid in elementary school. He was doing all kinds of things naughty boys do in nature, climbing up the mountains, sliding down the mountains, any kind of thing that you can imagine. When he changed to the school in town, in Okayama city, he began learning science and developed an interest in science. When he went into junior high school, he joined the science circle, where he continued with his interest in science.

In high school, he also continued with science. Within the science circle he was in charge of the chemistry experiments. The school was very old although it was very well equipped. The teacher was a very old man and didn't let students do experiments. Kyotani asked the teacher to let him try to do some experiments. The teacher told Kyotani that he could do the experiments if he was interested in them, and if he could prepare everything. So he was in charge of preparing all the devices and equipment for the experiments. He was allowed to enter the warehouse and libraries to get all the necessary information and equipment for the experiments. He was still a mischievous boy. Once he had friends get into high-voltage electricity. According to his textbook, this high-voltage electricity is covered so it is safe. He tried to test it with his friend, putting the wires close to his friend. It would stick to his hands and he would sweat all around the body, so he doubted the accuracy of the textbook information. His high school had ceremonies where you invite people to join in and see what the school was doing. He was in charge of the experimental science room and performed experiments for parents, teachers and friends.

He enjoyed all the experiences of school life through junior high school. He had to use his own money to buy materials for motors and experiments, whereas in high school, since he was in charge of the experiments, he was able to use anything he wanted.

Aspray:

I see.

Kyotani:

He also wanted to learn from other professors, wanted to get the lectures from other professors, so he wanted to contact Doctor Yukawa, who was the Nobel Prize winner. He discussed whether this was possible or not with his professor, who said "No, don't do such a thing, it's impossible." But he said, "Why not try it?" So he went to Kyoto University to call upon Dr. Yukawa, who said, "This is a funny guy, it's okay for him to do it." So Professor Yukawa came to do the lecture for him. That's about it up until high school.

Aspray:

What did you want to do for your career? What were your career plans when you were a child and a teenager?

Kyotani:

He wanted to be an engineer, but he wanted to make something different. He always had this intention to make something or invent something different than other people, like electricity, science. He did not want to be restricted in his method of thinking. He wanted something different.

World War II and Kyoto University

Aspray:

How did the war affect the development of your life and career?

Kyotani:

During the war, people who were concerned with or studying science did not have to join the military. Therefore, he was exempted from military service and had more opportunity to study science. During the war junior high or high school students were sent out to do work for the country. He was sent to a factory as an assistant to the factory director or manager, and he was allowed to improve his technological skills in his field of interest. He was even allowed to read foreign instruction books to further improve his knowledge of technology. Therefore, I think that the war affected him very much.

The factory manager was a very severe person, especially when he was observing a ship or submarine, observing wiring. When Kyotani would ask the factory director how something worked or what something did, the factory director would say, "You can read German so read this book!" So he had to read these thick German instruction books. At 7:30 a.m. the next morning, the factory manager was there, saying, "Kyotani, come over here. How was it? Did you understand it?" He couldn't read such a thick book in one night! And the factory manager said, "Those people whose parents pay for their schooling are lucky. I did not have that opportunity, so I read that book, foregoing sleep. Now read that book!" That's what the factory manager told him! He was a terrific factory manager, and meeting him affected Kyotani very much.

Aspray:

How did you decide to go to Kyoto University? Why did you choose that university?

Kyotani:

He chose Kyoto University because he thought the United States would never bomb Kyoto. He thought that the United States would not, if I may use that word, be so stupid as to do such a thing.

Aspray:

Because of the old city?

Kyotani:

Yes, the culture. He also went for the machinery because nobody knew much about machines, whereas many people knew about electricity. He decided that since nobody knew it, he would rather study machines.

Aspray:

What were the major subjects that were taught as part of your curriculum?

Kyotani:

Machines. Many of his professors told him to become a physicist. But he did not. He would rather stay together with many people, working together. Another reason why he chose machinery was because, unless you don't know anything about the electricity, you won't know anything about the machine. So he studied machinery to know more about electricity.

Aspray:

Were you a good student in university?

Kyotani:

The professors there were extreme in their evaluation. One professor would say he was very good, another would say he was very bad. It was very extreme, no in-betweens. When he wanted to join the Ministry of Transportation he was told that they had never seen a person like this with such extremely different evaluations. These points that the professors made were judgments of a person, so you can't have normal points or in-betweens. If the Ministry of Transportation did not want to have me, I wouldn't join it.

Joining the Japanese National Railway

Aspray:

When you graduated from the university was it hard to get a job, and how did you choose where to go for your first job?

Kyotani:

First he wanted to work on a ship, but his mother said, "Please don't go on a ship because, if you do, you will not stay in Japan, you will go abroad." He learned that on the railways the top-level people stay about two or three years and then they change job (positions), [the custom was just same as that of higher government officers: something like the job rotation for generalist] so he thought it might be a good opportunity for him to go into that field. I think I was right.

Aspray:

When you first joined the Japanese national railway (JNR), what were you assigned to do?

Kyotani:

His first assignment was an assistant to the factory director of technology. Later he worked inspecting locomotive. That was another good opportunity for him. The locomotives that he inspected had derailed. That locomotive belonged to the English/Indian Army, the occupying forces. He was told by his friends that he would be sent to and charged by the military court, so he should decide what to do.

This occurred three months after his marriage and he said, "I won't run away." So he went back and thanked his wife of the three months and told that he will be a laborer in prison, so she should also be prepared. So he says, "I won't run away, I will stay here. I am ready to go anywhere myself, except I want to see where I have made the mistake. I haven't seen it, and without seeing it, I cannot judge myself."

A U.S. military soldier told him it was true. The broken part was brought to him, he had seen it in the factory, and truly it was the part that he had inspected. Kyotani agreed, "It is true I have inspected that part." However, he asked "For my education, can you tell me how you inspect these parts in the United States, since the crack is inside a covered part? How can you detect something that is covered?" This soldier says, "Let me check, and I will tell you later."

At that time, the Japanese people who had joined him said to him, "What kind of thing are you talking about? Because you are not supposed to say those things to these allied forces people!" Then the reply came: "You are released." They inspected something inside where you have to really open it to see it will not be a thing that he could judge, that it was not his mistake. Since then, he started to like the United States very much. He knew that with the American people, you should talk to them directly and tell them what you really feel. Since then he has had many American friends, and he enjoys meeting and discussing matters with these people.

Rail Travel for the Crown Prince

Aspray:

Can you trace for me the various jobs you did for JNR during the years up to 1958?

Kyotani:

Because he has changed so many times, he won't be able to remember it all. For ten years he was primarily in the factory, inspecting, observing, and checking the locomotives, with the instruction from the American military forces — refrigeration cars for transporting and things like fruit. Then he went to the Ministry of Transport for the preparation of the Shinkansen [Bullet Train]. He was in charge of train operations from the north to the west of Kanto [Kanto is the central part of Honshu Island, including Tokyo]. He thinks the reason he was sent out to Takasaki Railway Management Bureau was because he was doing everything he wanted to do, and Takasaki was known as a place where you really have to be taken care of very carefully from the top. The top management thought that if he was sent to Takasaki he might calm down a little bit.

He had to assist the Emperor and the Crown Prince in their travels. The Emperor's house is in Nasu and the Prince would go skiing in Karuizawa. Looking after the Emperor and Prince was not a technological position, so it was very difficult for Kyotani. Plus, in the past the Royal Families would travel in a special, private train, but the Ministry for the Royal Family informed Kyotani that the Prince would travel in a public train, and he was to be in charge of this. That was to be very difficult. Since there was no precedent for such arrangements, that was the most difficult part of his job. He was told, "This is your specialty because you always like to do something new."

At that time the Emperor wanted the Prince to be closer to the public, for although the Emperor was perceived by the Japanese people as a kind of god he believed the future of the Royal Family should be more closely linked with the public. So the intention of the Emperor was to let the Prince travel in a public train.

There were many details to attend to — little things like overseeing the car on the train that people would come and sell their products in, and how to separate the public and the train in the station. Everything was very very new. He was a pioneer in this. Those little things were very difficult. The prince had to be guarded by guards armed with pistols. He was also in charge of arming and inspecting the pistols.

Aspray:

What was the outcome?

Kyotani:

It was fantastic. The Prince liked it; everybody liked it. It was very successful. Because of this success, all the routes from Niigata to Nagano, as well as other routes, had to implement these changes. The people in charge of Niigata or Nagano all came to Kyotani-san to learn how he had done it. The Royal Family's relationship with the public improved tremendously, and he believes that his little help was involved in this, for which he is very proud.

The Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

Aspray:

Can you tell me what your personal role was in the development of the Bullet train?

Kyotani:

After Takasaki, he came back to the Department of Technology Development. Before his assignment in Takasaki he had been in charge of Shinkansen regulations in the Ministry of Transport. He thought that the Shinkansen were ready to run, but when he actually went there, he found problems with the wheel and the wheel axle. He was thus put in charge of the Shinkansen's wheel. The operation date for the Shinkansen was already set, but the wheels were not ready. He had many friends who were involved in other sections of Shinkansen at that time, so he called in all these friends and discussed how they should proceed in order to begin operations soon as possible. In the past, there was no case in the world where a steel wheel would run on the rail at such a high speed. The only example was the American locomotive running east to west at high speed. Because there was no data, he had to try to get data on high-frequency inductive heating that would be used to harden the axle.

Aspray:

Yes, I see.

Kyotani:

As the operation date was approaching, he informed the JNR that the speed of the Shinkansen should be reduced because the ground upon which the rail sat was insufficiently solid and high-speed operation might result in derailment.

Kyotani:

JNR was very unhappy about this decision, because the Shinkansen was supposed to run as fast as possible. The JNR listened to what he proposed, and they reduced the speed. The first objective was to run at 210 kilometres per hour, but they reduced it to 160 kilometers per hour. As the ground became more solid they started running at 210 kilometers per hour.

Aspray:

How fast were other trains in other parts of the world running in comparison to this train?

Kyotani:

The width of the gauge in Japan is different; it's very narrow. In local Japan, with this narrow gauge the maximum was 120 kilometers per hour. In other parts of the world trains were also running at a maximum speed of between 120 and 130 kilometers per hour at that time.

Aspray:

So this was a very big jump. What were the major technical accomplishments that allowed this big jump in speed to occur?

Kyotani:

First, the Shinkansen ran on electricity; with locomotives you cannot reach that speed. The local narrow-gauge multi-coupled electric car train system had been improving, which had an effect on the Shinkansen. Also the Shinkansen used a combination of air brakes and electric brakes. The development of this combination had improved and thus affected the Shinkansen. At that time France also had the Super Express. The problem was the power collection on the top of the trains: how to collect electricity, how to consider the effectiveness of the power collection. This development was also improved, and therefore we could start on the Shinkansen. In order to run safely the ATC system has also been developed at the local level for normal trains; that also affected the development of the Shinkansen.

Therefore the train involved the joining of many diverse technological developments. All this technology had to be put into one basket. That is the very important part in the railway system. The Shinkansen is running very well, very smoothly, no accidents, everything is going very well. He thinks that the reason Shinkansen has succeeded is the effort of Mr. Sogo ,who was the chairman of JNR, and who gave the permission to study and operate the Shinkansen.

Aspray:

I'm not clear exactly what your responsibilities in all of this were. Were you managing all of the development, or did you have a part of it? More specifically, what was your role?

Kyotani:

He was in charge of work related to wheels and wheel axles. He was in charge of determining whether the wheels could really adjust enough to support unlimited passengers in the train cars.

Aspray:

I see.

Kyotani:

The most important question was, if you put as many passengers as possible in a car, would the wheel axle be able to hold them? He said, "There won't be any problem, so let as many passengers go on as possible." They did this and it was very successful.

Then he noticed that passengers were fainting, and he noticed that in between the cars there was no air conditioner. It became so hot and crowded that people would faint. So he had to put air conditioners in between the connection areas. He felt that it is not easy to make complete the system development: easier said than done.

Increasing Bullet-Train Speed

Aspray:

In the technology development department, what were the kinds of problems that were being worked on in addition to some of the ones we have already talked about?

Kyotani:

After the technology development he was there for about ten to fifteen years. He was the deputy director in that department. His main tasks were how to avoid derailment and to decide the speed of the train. He decided how to increase the speed of the Shinkansen and the speed of the local narrow-gauge trains.

Aspray:

How fast did the improvements make the Shinkansen? I know they were at 210 kilometres per hour. Did they continue to get a little faster over a period of time, and what technologies made that possible?

Kyotani:

Further developments of the Shinkansen were improving the power of the motor, lightening or compacting the motor; improving the collection of the power, and the noise-solving problem.

Aspray:

How fast did the trains get to be?

Kyotani:

The fastest now is 270 kilometers per hour.

Aspray:

Was there a belief that you had reached the limit using this technology?

Kyotani:

He even hoped to improve the speed up to 300 kilometers per hour as a commercial venture. To run at 400kph is also possible. But to run continuously at that high speed, you really need to collect good data.

Aspray:

When you were looking for alternative technologies to increase the speed of the railway system, what in addition to mag-lev were considered?

Kyotani:

There are limits to improving the speed of the Shinkansen or any normal transportation system. When he was operating the Shinkansen the Tokyo-Osaka trip took three hours. This is not fast, but it's not slow. It's in the middle. It's not interesting at all. He wanted to develop a technology that would reduce the Tokyo-Osaka running time to within one hour. He also considered abandoning the railway system project because he really wanted to develop something completely new, but he returned to railway systems.

There was a problem in the Shinkansen system of noise, vibration, and maintenance. His goal was to develop a technology that was new and different, which would eliminate those problems. That was the reason he developed the mag-lev system.

Inception of the Mag-Lev Concept

Aspray:

While the tape was off, we emphasized how important the maintenance problem was for these machines. As you were thinking about new technologies, new ways of approaching this problem of transportation, did you give any thought, before you abandoned it, to some alternative technology to mag-lev? Something else that was new, but not traditional?

Kyotani:

He first examined the problem of connecting one city to another city on the transportation system. He focused both on transportation needs and conditions between those two cities. He also researched the system potential impact on the environment. With those two criteria in mind he considered various alternative transportation systems — airplanes, boats, trains, automobiles and concluded that the railway system was best.

First, a train can be operated at very high speed, because no steering wheel is involved. Also, a train is safe even when it runs at very high speed. In addition, trains can be adapted to the needs of the customer because you can add more cars as required.

But in railways there are, as we said, the problems of maintenance, noise, and vibration. In order to eliminate these three major problems, he considered the possibility of levitating the train. The question was, how many centimeters to levitate the train from the rail. He discussed this with many people, but no one came up with a conclusion, so he suggested 10 cm. The people who were in charge of the maintenance on the rails said 10 cm would be perfect. However, other people questioned the feasibility of levitating trains that weighed fifty to sixty tons. They suggested that the development-in-study office should handle this type of a proposal. "Is there any similar case in the world?" He said "No, there is none, and therefore you can call this a development." He was questioned years later as to how he determined 10 cm to be the correct height. He said "Simple, it's easy to remember!" Train car had a length of 10 m, they weighed 10 tons, and they levitated 10 cms — everything is 10, so it's easy to remember.

He was also asked why did he not make the train speed 1000 kilometers per hour. He replied, "No, that's possible, but if I say it's 1000 kilometers, everyone will jump out of their seats." So he reduced it to 500 kilometers. In Japan, sen is the word for a negative reply. When someone is asked if they can do something that they do not wish to do, the person replies using the term "sen," which in Japanese has a negative connotation. In Japanese word 1000 contains the same sen sound as the negative the sen. He doesn't like that negative way of thinking.

Aspray:

I see.

Kyotani:

He thinks that when you start out doing something very new you have to enjoy doing it, and you have to really have a positive way of thinking in order to successfully develop these new systems. He believes that this is what he has.

Aspray:

So you don't want to set your target so high that it is just a struggle and not a pleasure to succeed?

Kyotani:

The reason he chose 500, and he had a discussion with the Americans concerning this, is that if you go over 600 kilometers per hour, it is better to have the train in a vacuum tube. Therefore he decided that 500 kilometers per hour would be best for a train operating in the open air. In Japan it is 500 kilometres, and in the United States it is 300 miles per hour.

Challenges to Mag-Lev Technology

Aspray:

Once you have chosen mag-lev as your technology, what are the technical challenges in front of you to build a system?

Kyotani:

Making the superconductive magnet and then using a cryogenic system to cool the magnet.

Aspray:

Because the trains are going so fast, are there problems with the controls of the system? For example, with the brakes or train stability?

Kyotani:

Everyone opposed his idea for using a superconductive magnet. They said such a system could not be used on the railways. Because of his related involvement with the electric railway system, where the motor itself is a kind of big magnet, he knew that the vibration problem could be solved with the improvement of windings. The concern was a possible breakdown of the superconducting state to the normal state, but he had long experience with the ordinary electric motor, therefore he thought that a sort of deliberate winding for our location of winding the motor would be safe.

So he conducted the experiment with a particular model. But one of the technicians made a mistake, and he couldn't determine where the mistake could be. This experimental model was that on the top you had the magnet and in the bottom you had the aluminum coil. You would turn this bottom table. When you turned this round table, the superconductive magnet would rise. The mistake was that the technician was turning this table with the coil opened, and therefore it did not have this magnetic electric joining, so it did not levitate. Then the other person switched off and made it a closed coil, then the magnet jumped into the top with great force. But even at that time, the magnet winding did not break. The technicians were hiding this experiment for him. Once Kyotani knew the mistake that had been made, he told them that if the technology of the winding is clearly made, then you won't have a vibration problem.

Aspray:

Are the technical problems for building a commercial mag-lev system essentially solved now?

Kyotani:

Most of the problems are solved, and they are making a test trial in Yamanashi to really finally check the experiment.

Aspray:

Now, of course, it's not only technical challenges but political challenges as well. When you want to build a system like this, because it's very expensive you have to lay this whole new set of tracks, and you're providing the transportation system for the people. How was this solved? How did you politically convince people to go with this technology?

Kyotani:

As I often say, it's R & D & D — research and development and demonstration. You have to demonstrate in order to get the money. The JNR is funded with public money, the people's money, so you have to let people know what for and how this money is used. You need good timing when you demonstrate in order to get the money easily. The total amount that he has spent on this mag-lev development, not counting the cost of the personnel, was 30 billion yen.

Aspray:

So 300 million dollars.

Kyotani:

Politically, many people have supported him in the development of the mag-lev. The Japanese-U.S. transportation meetings have also been beneficial for him.

Aspray:

In what way?

Kyotani:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Japanese Ministry of Transportation (MOT) meetings are held once a year to discuss new transportation systems. They have discussed the mag-lev quite frequently in these meetings, and he participated for ten consecutive years, from the very first meeting.

Aspray:

When do you think that the system will be made available commercially?

Kyotani:

The year 2005, or maybe a little later. However, he is trying to push a little bit so that it starts operating earlier because delays will make it difficult for the present Shinkansen to maintain its current situation.

Aspray:

Because of the population pressure?

Kyotani:

No, because maintenance and other system costs will be so expensive. You cannot decrease the speed, nor scale back the present schedule of the train. Because of speed and schedule demands on the system, he's using 3,000 men for maintenance, and while you must continue this maintenance because there are many passengers on board, the system cannot continue like this.

Current Projects: Tube Transport & More

Aspray:

I want to talk about your current career, but I want to give you a chance to say something more about mag-lev if you would like to.

Kyotani:

He thinks there will be no problem with the continued development and implementation of mag-lev. Now he is again working on something new.

Aspray:

Can you tell me about your career in the last few years?

Kyotani:

He is doing something working on a tube transport system that will combine a variety of functions. Most tubes now use superconductivity. Maximum speed will be 3,700 kilometers per hour. People and goods will be transported in the tube, but at the same time there will be a superconductivity power transmission cable as well as an optical fiber cable. With such a system, you can effectively combine the transportation of people, goods, energy, and information all in one tube. If the world unites to develop this system, then environmental issues as well as issues of world peace will be solved.

He's also working on an electromagnetic hydrodynamic drive-system ship. Last year in Kobe the ship Yamato I sailed using this system. The ship was proposed to Mr. Sasagawa and developed at the Ship and Ocean Foundation.

The other project he is thinking about is a possible combination of railway and motorcar. In the city it would run like an electric automobile; on the highway it would levitate and run at 500 kilometers per hour. He has made a model of that automobile and donated it to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

An article in a U.S. journal stated that it was unfair that Dr. Kyotani introduced this new automobile because he did so only in order to decrease the problem of Japanese-U.S. automobile trade imbalance. He says this is something very, very new and can serve as an example of U.S.-Japanese cooperation in transportation development. He didn't bring it to be unfair about Japanese-U.S. automobile trade problems, but if you're going to say such a thing, he's going to take it back!

When people started to understand what he was proposing, the Japanese media asked him, "Are you really Japanese?" He has a feeling that whenever the Japanese come up with some very new idea, the American people think one is not Japanese.

He's also thinking of superconductive elevators. If this succeeds, you could have really tall buildings because you eliminate the elevator pulley system. With no pulley system, one elevator could move aside, allowing another to go ahead. You would not require a large elevator shaft in the building, thereby saving space. He hopes that people will try to develop this system as quickly as possible. He also thinks that Americans — because the United States has so many skyscrapers, would benefit greatly if they could develop such a system. He wishes the Americans would really work on this, but because it is a proposal from the Japanese, he thinks maybe they won't. In the past, Japan has always taken what the Americans and Europeans have field-tested. His dream is to have the Japanese doing the field test by ourselves, to make a city where you can have the real future, with all technologies joined together a city in Japan. That's his dream. If Hong Kong is a free-MARKET city this new city would be a free-TECHNOLOGY city, where everybody can come, see, experience, touch, and study. It's going to be a free market in Japan, that's what he thinks. That's his dream.

Aspray:

Thank you very much.