Japan Seeks Public-Private Tie-Ups to Sell Trains Abroad

Japan will seek public-private partnerships to help domestic train companies win contracts overseas, the nation’s new transport minister said.

“I want to strengthen Japan’s efforts to sell trains overseas,” Takeshi Maeda, who was appointed by incoming Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda last week, told reporters today in Tokyo. European countries are well-versed in using public- private partnerships to promote sales, he said. “We need to learn from them.”

Japan has said the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation is ready to lend funds to help companies bid for projects such as California’s high-speed rail project. East Japan Railway Co. (9020), the nation’s largest train operator, plans to form a company this year to help coordinate domestic rail suppliers’ attempts to challenge France’s Alstom SA (ALO) and Germany’s Siemens AG (SIE) for train projects overseas.

Japanese rail companies are targeting overseas sales as a shrinking population stymies growth at home. JR East has already allied with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (7012) and other Japanese companies to bid for parts of a California high-speed rail.

California aims to build a high-speed rail project it estimates will cost more than $40 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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