Mr Masaki Ogata, the second non-European to be elected to the role, takes over from Sir Peter Hendy for a two-year tenure as President of UITP. The Executive Vice Chairman of JR East, a major Japanese operator, Mr. Ogata's election follows an unanimous vote by UITP members at the General Assembly in Milan. The Assembly is taking place on the eve of the official Opening Ceremony of the 61st World Congress & Exhibition.
"It's no exaggeration that public transport holds the key to many of the world's major problems," said Mr. Ogata, as he praised his predecessor for "all he has done for UITP." He said he was "extremely grateful" to have been voted for by a large majority of Association members.
Mr. Ogata was endorsed as candidate by the Policy Board in early 2015. His tenure will run from 2015 until the next Congress in Montreal in 2017. He’s taking over from Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, who has served as UITP president since 2013.
Mr. Ogata was born in 1952 and joined Japanese National Railways (JNR) in 1974. When JNR was privatised in 1987, it was split into a number of parts and he was assigned to the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). He has held a number of different positions JR East, and in 2002 joined the Board of Directors as Director of Transport and Rolling Stock. From 2008 to 2011, he was Executive Vice President and Head of Railway Operations Headquarters, and was responsible for operating the entire railway network. As Vice Chairman of JR East since June 2011, he has been driving open technological innovation and open globalisation onward to enhance quality and variety of the overall business domain of JR East.
At this year's UITP Congress, Mr. Ogata will be presenting a look-back at the history of the development of the mainline and urban railways in Japan, in parallel session 21 - Master Planning ot fit the mobility needs of Asia on Wednesday 10 June.
Sir Peter Hendy
Sir Peter Hendy, who acted as President from 2013 until 2015, himself took over the presidency from Mr. Ousmane Thiam from Senegal, the first African president of the Association. As president of UITP, Sir Peter made a major contribution by encouraging the focus on making links between public transport and local businesses. Mr. Hendy has held the title of Commission of transport for London since 2006, and has played a significant role in making London a world leader in integrated transport delivery. Of Mr. Ogata, Sir Peter said he was "honoured to be succeeded by Mr. Ogata" and expressed his wish that he would prove to be as worthy a president as he himself hoped he himself had been.