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Japanese leader Abe wants to export high-speed trains in US

Japan’s Prime Minister is expected to pitch its domestic high-speed rail during a weeklong trip in the US in a bid to bolster Japan’s economy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping to convince officials to let Japan contribute to the construction of three fast-train projects currently under consideration in the US. The three would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, Dallas and Huston, and New York and Washington.

Japan’s high-speed rail services are one of the most advanced in the world, with hundreds of trains running each day with minimal delays. Its maglev – magnet levitation – trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages reducing friction and allowing higher speeds.

The government is now looking to sell the bullet-train system, known as the Shinkansen, overseas in a bid to strengthen the Japanese economy partly through infrastructure exports. Winning contracts in the US could open doors in other markets as well, particularly in Asia’s developing countries.

Mr Abe is expected to deliver a speech in California to sell the Japanese system, which boasts strong safety records, reliability and the availability of low-cost financing, according to Japanese officials.

In January work began on the high-speed link between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which should have trains racing through California by 2029, but it has yet to choose a train supplier and Japan hopes to be it. The distance between the two cities (559km) is similar to that of the Tokyo-Osaka route in Japan where the trip is two and a half hours long.

Mr Abe will quite likely mention the latest achievement of its maglev train, which reached a record breaking 603kmh in a test run near Mount Fuji on Tuesday, smashing its own world speed record, as E&T reported.

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