Photo of Shinkansen from Japan Spin

Japan Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii told Singapore media that if Japan wins the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, the country will rope in Singaporean companies to produce made-in-Singapore Shinkansen.

Translated transcript and interview by the media, Keiichi Ishii said:

“For the Singapore-Malaysia rail system, having parts that are “made-in-Singapore” would be possible. We can suggest that the track can be produced locally by a Singapore company … When it comes to building the actual infrastructure, I believe that joint ventures with Singapore construction companies are possible. Those in Singapore’s construction industry could benefit from the international procurement process for Japan’s well-known Shinkansen high-speed bullet trains.”

Japan’s main competitor for the HSR will be China but it will likely lose out to China on cost. Japan’s proposal’s main selling points are Shinkansen’s safety, reliability and total life-cycle cost. The Japanese Minister pointed out that Shinkansen has zero fatalities and less than a minute of delay each trip since its inception in 1964. The cost of running Shinkansen is also 14% lower than the train system in China and Europe.

The HSR is likely to cost at least S$20.4 billion and is expected to be completed by 2026.