After beating China by winning the contract to build a $15 billion rail in India, Japan is setting its sights on selling its bullet trains to a high-speed line being planned between Singapore and the Malaysian capital.
Japanese Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii told reporters Tuesday in Tokyo the government supports the bid, which would create a new market for companies such as Hitachi to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Ishii said cooperation between the government and business had been instrumental in winning last week’s deal with India.
The move to export its bullet-train technology aims to help to meet a pledge by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to triple infrastructure exports to 30 trillion yen ($248 billion) by 2020. Singapore and Malaysia have proposed a rail line to travel the 300-kilometer (180-mile) journey between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. The new trains should cut the travel time to 90 minutes, compared to at least four hours by car.
“As part of the Japan team we want to cover all aspects of train operations, including operations and maintenance, not just selling trains,” Hitachi President Toshiaki Higashihara told reporters Tuesday in Tokyo. “We want to work on delivering a whole package” for the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail, he said.