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Authority (TRTA), which operates the subways in Tokyo's metropolitan area, is similar to other public transit agencies; its stock is owned jointly by the Japanese Government and by local governments. Table 3.3 Classification of Passenger Rail Operators* Classification Transportation Main Service Type Areas JR Group intercity & 6 regions commuter Large Private commuter 4 metropolises (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, & Fukuoka) Small Private in commuter Tokyo & Osaka Metropolitan Areas Small Private in commuter from large to Urban Areas sightseeing small urban areas Public commuter 9 large cities (subway) Eidan commuter Tokyo (subway) Ownership private & national government private Operators in 1996 6 15 private 6 private 100 public (local governments) public (national & local governments) 13 (9) 1 (1) This table was originally made by Mizutani and modified by the author in accordance with the Ministry of Transport's Rail Fact Book '96, Japan Transport Economics Research Center, Tokyo, 1996, pp. 8-9. (in Japanese) * Because of its high share of transportation, most Japanese railroad enterprises have been financially sound. Private railroads are profitable for the most part, and even public railroads are profitable if depreciation is excluded from their operating costs. The profitability of Japanese railroads is in strong contrast with that of other industrial countries' railroads 2 . Despite their high profitability, Japanese railroad companies have traditionally pursued side-businesses in addition to their train operations. Historically, these side-businesses were initiated by large private companies to increase their rail patronage. From this point of view, the most effective side-business was housing and amusement development along rail lines. Some private companies developed suburban residential areas for downtown office workers, and I Fumitoshi Mizutani, JapaneseUrban Railways: A Private-PublicComparison, 1993, p. 9. 2 Ibid., pp. 43-48.