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NAGOYA — On a desolate stretch of track just before midnight, when all passenger lines have been put to bed, a juiced-up bullet train goes online and accelerates to over 320 kph. The 700-ton train, about 400 meters long, whooshes by rice paddies in under 5 seconds.

There are no locals around to witness the train glide to a stop at a deserted Kyoto Station, but that’s not the point. This is an accelerated sales pitch aimed squarely at the U.S., where Japan is competing with European train makers for a new high-speed train network that could deliver contracts worth hundreds of billions.

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