• Kyodo

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Yoshiomi Yamada, president of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), has likened the Shanghai maglev train to a toy.

“Theirs can be compared to a toy for elementary schoolchildren, while our maglev train can be compared to an iPad,” the JR Tokai president told a gathering in Nagoya on Monday.

Participants of the meeting urged the government to build a maglev track based on JR Tokai technology in central Japan.

His remark was apparently aimed at underlining his perception of the technological superiority of the JR Tokai maglev train over its Shanghai peer.

But his description of a Chinese railway as a toy could stir another controversy with China, which is already at odds with Japan on other fronts.

The Shanghai maglev commenced operations in 2002, linking Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the port city. The train, made in Germany, travels 30 km between the airport and the city at a maximum speed of 430 kph.

The train is magnetically levitated 1 cm above the track, while the JR Tokai peer is levitated 10 cm with its magnets taking advantage of superconductivity technology.

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