National / Politics

Japan may waive maglev train technology license fees in deal with U.S.

Kyodo

The government is considering providing Japanese magnetically levitated train system technology to the United States without license fees, a government source said Sunday.

Tokyo is considering the possibility in order to realize a maglev high-speed train service linking Washington and Baltimore, Maryland, the source said.

Japan has also unofficially offered loans worth about ¥500 billion to help bring about the service, which is expected to require about ¥1 trillion in investments.

The government is making arrangements so that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe can offer the technological assistance when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in Tokyo on April 24, according to the source.

The government sees the maglev technology offer as a “symbol of the Japan-U.S. alliance” and is considering the free provision of technology in cooperation with Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), which has been promoting the technology abroad, the source said.

Abe proposed to provide the maglev technology in a meeting with Obama in February last year.

On Saturday, Abe and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy took a ride on a maglev train on JR Central’s test line in Yamanashi Prefecture.

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