Japan’s Shinkansen safe and reliable
Country is ready to share its knowledge with Malaysia in the high-speed rail project, says Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii
Japan has a long history in HSR travel. Furthermore, we also have an impeccable track record for safety.
Japan’s Shinkansen uses a range of advanced technologies to achieve not only high speeds, but also a high standard of safety and comfort.
Over the Shinkansen’s 52-year history in carrying more than 10billion passengers, there have been neither fatalities nor casualties due to derailments or collisions, despite frequent earthquakes and typhoons.
Therefore, Malaysia will benefit from the long learning process that Japan has gone through in developing the Shinkansen.
Without a doubt, the HSR project will bring tremendous benefits to businesses and the economy. For example, in Japan, time savings alone have been estimated at 400 million hours, with an economic impact of ¥500 billion (US$4.48 billion) per year.
Another example is the economic growth of smaller towns and lessdeveloped regions along the route. In almost all cases, these areas will see rapid development once the HSR begins servicing its route.
It will attract investors and tourists, which will subsequently encourage industries to grow. This leads to an increase in investment opportunities and technological innovations.
I believe for Malaysia, an important area of focus as it moves into the next decade is building quality infrastructure. Japan is a firm believer in this and is, in fact, spearheading an initiative on building quality infrastructure in the Asean region.
Introducing Shinkansen technology to the Malaysia-Singapore HSR project is part of this larger initiative. It will, no doubt, contribute greatly to Malaysia’s economic advancement. There are many areas that our two countries can undertake to promote local collabowith
I am firmly convinced that the HSR project will transform the transportation landscape in Malaysia.
This will bring long-term economic and social benefits to Malaysia and Singapore. Once the Malaysian government decides on the kind of HSR technology it wants to adopt, it would thereafter need to train local engineers as the HSR is a whole new area of rail technology.
Japan will, of course, assist in knowledge transfer — we will train Malaysian engineers so they can run the HSR system. This will open up a whole new field of expertise for Malaysia.
Japan has signed a joint initiative with the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to promote active collaboration in developing our countries’ railway sectors.
Japan will help to train Malaysians in managing railway services. They include capacity-building, sharing of best practices as well as other areas of cooperation.
These collaborations will be pursued at many different levels and through diverse fora, including collaboration between universities and research institutes, hands-on training in Japan, as well as deploying experts from Japan to Malaysia.
Japan will also provide technical assistance, including short- and longterm training, and share knowledge on Japanese rail regulators’ regulatory framework.
Running a Shinkansen is a humongous task. Other than the requisite technology, Japan will also be ready to share expertise in human capital development and management, from planning, designing, marketing and engineering, to maintenance and research and development.
With HSR technology, we will also put together a comprehensive training system to develop leaders and experts, including engineers and site managers. Technical transfer is also equally important and this will create a new skill set for an entire segment of workers.
As you can see, the Malaysian economy will gain an entire new segment of growth, which will propel its economic development in direct and contributory roles. Japan has long been involved in sharing expertise and know-how throughout the world in areas where it excels.
We are firm believers in sharing our knowledge as well as in technology transfer in partnerships various countries that we are assisting in building up their infrastructure.
When Japan assists other countries, we do so through a consortium. Therefore, both Japanese as well as local companies will be involved - from project inception to delivery, and subsequent operations.
In addition, other ancillary services and new business opportunities will also arise. This will create opportunities and niches that Malaysian companies should take advantage of.
Japan will offer much more than exporting HSR hardware. As mentioned earlier, there will be transfer of technology and technical know-how.
These will be key areas in which Malaysia can benefit. As you are aware, HSR is not an economic segment available to all countries in the world.
In fact, it remains rather exclusive and, therefore, Malaysia will be part of a small group of countries with this technology and technical know-how. This would allow it to be a leader in the future.
Another area Malaysia can benefit from is the construction of the bullet train.
There are invaluable lessons to be shared and learned. Japan will go the extra mile of imparting knowledge on how to develop ancillary businesses in areas near the rail facilities.
In short, I would like to say that Japan is committed to contributing to the development of our partner’s nation by sharing knowledge and expertise. After all, if our neighbours prosper, Japan will also prosper.
Japan is ever ready to work with local partners to ensure the successful execution of Southeast Asia’s most ambitious infrastructure project.
We also know very well that localisation of technology is of utmost importance for a more efficient and effective technology transfer. Thus, we are making ways to form collaborations with homegrown players to suit local conditions.
We are looking forward to forming long-term partnerships in future with these local companies to support the country’s rail industry in track building, manufacturing of rolling stocks, signalling system and even sharing our know-how in developing the towns and cities along the route.
Let’s just say that we do not only want you to be able to operate the HSR from day one, but also create a good collaboration that will help our partners prosper.
We want this HSR project to serve not only as a symbol of great cooperation between Japan and Malaysia, but also economic transformations between the two connecting cities and towns along the line.
Q: What are the benefits if Malaysia collaborates with Japan on the highspeed railway (HSR) project?
A: Q: You speak of collaboration with local companies. In which areas can Malaysian companies be co-opted in this process?
A: Q:Can you be more specific on how this can be achieved?
A: Q: Among Japan’s selling points to the Malaysian government is the technology it will introduce in the country. Can you highlight some of them?
A: Question 5: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe himself is Japan’s foremost salesman when it comes to exporting the Shinkansen technology. However, how much are you willing to localise the technology?
A: Q: Can you give an example of Japan’s experienceinexportingitsShinkansen technology? Did it help revolutionise growth in that country?
As countries reach a certain level of economic development, many aspire to better technology and faster modes of transport. The same holds true for our neighbours, who have long acknowledged the superiority of the Shinkansen.
Taiwan was the first successful consortium export for Shinkansen.
It is so successful and has transformed the landscape of Taiwan so much that it has since come to symbolise successful Taiwan-Japan relations.
Japan not only exported the hardware, but also set up training and provided detailed guidance in know-how. Taiwan’s HSR is performing according to Shinkansen’s reputation for operational time accuracy.
This, in turn, has provided confidence and reliability for Taiwan’s commuters. The average daily passenger count in Taiwan has tripled with the introduction of the HSR.
The Shinkansen also helped to boost Taiwan’s economy through connectivity, linking Taipei in the north, with Kaohsiung at the south within 90 minutes.
Other than Taiwan, Japan had also been invited to share its HSR technology and expertise with India. The Japanese railway system is also expanding to the United States and Thailand.
Japan is extremely satisfied with the confidence shown, and looking forward to working closely with our Asian friends and partners as they move towards greater growth and economic development.
Japan will go the extra mile of imparting knowledge on how to develop ancillary businesses in areas near the high-speed rail.
Japan Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii