Photo/IllutrationAutomatic safety gates on the platform of the JR Yamanote Line are designed to prevent the visually impaired from falling on the tracks. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

An executive of a Tokyo company working to improve safety for the visually impaired died after being hit by a train on Oct. 2 in an accident that temporarily halted service on East Japan Railway Co.'s Yamanote Line.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo announced on Oct. 3 that Hiroyuki Ishii, 47, died as a result of the accident that occurred at 7:14 p.m. the previous day during the evening rush hour.

Police said Ishii was lying on the tracks of the Yamanote Line at Shinjuku Station when he was hit by an incoming train. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition but later died.

There are no automatic safety gates on the Yamanote platform at Shinjuku Station.

Police are investigating how Ishii ended up on the tracks. He had been using a white cane that the visually impaired normally carry with them.

According to police, Ishii, who had a severe visual disability, operated a company that provided support measures to the visually impaired. One project he had been promoting was greater safety measures on train platforms to prevent the visually impaired from falling on the tracks.

Ishii lost his vision due to an illness, but was active at one time as a blind soccer athlete. He also served as a vice director of the Japan Blind Football Association.