Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Chikage Ogi said Tuesday she intends to visit China early next month to pitch Japan’s high-speed rail system for a new Beijing-Shanghai route being planned.

Ogi will be accompanied by East Japan Railway Co. President Mutsutake Otsuka on her visit, which has been delayed in the aftermath of the outbreak of SARS, according to ministry sources.

Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), is considering a separate visit in August to push Japanese rail technology.

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) President Yoshiyuki Kasai, however, is opposed to providing advanced Japanese technology to China on the grounds that it would not benefit Japanese companies.

JR Tokai operates the Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations.

However, Ogi said success in exporting Japanese technology “will enhance Japan’s national prestige.”

In their talks in St. Petersburg, Russia, in late May, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi asked Chinese President Hu Jintao to choose Japan’s bullet-train system for the Beijing-Shanghai line.

Hu told Koizumi that China was considering either the Japanese system or German maglev technology.

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