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

New Straits Times - - News - Ra­tion in bring­ing this tech­nol­ogy to Malaysia.

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

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