NAGOYA (Kyodo) The assembly of Japan’s first small passenger jet plane started Tuesday at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in Aichi Prefecture.

The development of the aircraft, known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, also involves Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. The target for its first flight is 2012.

“I expect the MRJ to become a symbol” of renascent Japan following the March 11 disaster, Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hideo Egawa told a ceremony marking the start of assembly.

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