Transport minister Chikage Ogi indicated Friday that she plans to visit China next month in a bid to push Beijing into introducing Japan’s bullet train system when it constructs an express railway linking Beijing and Shanghai.

“I’d like to visit as soon as possible so that I can also congratulate Mr. Hu Jintao on his inauguration as president,” Ogi said.

She added that her ministry is currently working to bring about the visit by the end of next month.

Ogi’s visit was initially scheduled during the Golden Week holidays from late April to early May but was postponed due to the SARS scare in Beijing.

China is expected later this year to choose either the shinkansen system or Germany’s maglev system for the Beijing-Shanghai express railway.

Construction of the express train network is to be completed before Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games.

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