technology

Japan to Help Magnetic-Levitation Rail Line Open Early, Abe Says

Japan’s government will provide backing for the early opening of a privately built magnetic-levitation train link between Nagoya and Osaka that’s currently planned to start running in 2045, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

Abe will help provide Japan with 21st-century infrastructure, he said Wednesday at a press conference in Tokyo, without giving further details.

Central Japan Railway Co. is developing the 9 trillion-yen ($82 billion) line, and tested a maglev train a year ago at a record 603 kilometers (375 miles) an hour. The Nagoya-Tokyo segment of the route is scheduled to open in 2027. Japanese officials have been pushing for the line to begin operations earlier. The train operator, known as JR Central, is also trying to interest governments abroad in the technology.

“We’re very grateful that Abe has offered to support opening the Nagoya-Osaka link early," JR Central President Koei Tsuge said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. "The details are to be decided, but we will do our utmost to start work on the link soon after the Nagoya opening, while maintaining a healthy and stable dividend."

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