Japan intensified its shinkansen sales pitch in Singapore on Friday, hoping to acquire an edge in its bid for the Malaysia-Singapore high speed rail project.
Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii discussed the bullet train system at a meeting with Singapore Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo and later at a symposium on the rail project held in downtown Singapore.
“Japan’s private and public sectors are trying very hard to have a high-speed railway that adopts the shinkansen technology to be run here in Singapore,” Ishii told reporters after the symposium.
He said that the shinkansen has clear advantages in terms of safety and reliability, and that the system can be offered at low cost not only initially, but also in terms of maintenance over its total life cycle.
Yuji Fukasawa, executive vice president of East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), told the symposium that a shinkansen system could start commercial operations as early as in seven years.
Earlier this week, the governments of Singapore and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding for the project to build a railway that links the two countries.
They said they will call for tenders next month to choose a joint development partner to provide technical support to both countries on the project, which they aim to complete by 2026.