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Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Chikage Ogi said Tuesday she hopes to visit China as early as possible to discuss the high-speed rail link being planned between Beijing and Shanghai.

“I would like to visit China at an early date and convey our plan to give it maximum assistance in technological and other areas,” said Ogi, whose China visit has been delayed by the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic.

Ogi’s remarks followed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s request Saturday that China choose Japan’s bullet train system for the new Beijing-Shanghai line when he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Hu told Koizumi that China is examining whether to pick the Japanese system or Germany’s maglev technology.

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