TOKYO, April 14 – U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy accompanied Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Northeast Maglev Chairman and CEO Wayne Rogers to ride the Central Japan Railway Company’s (JR Central) Superconducting Maglev (SCMAGLEV) train on Saturday, April 12.
“It’s amazing,” said Ambassador Kennedy as she sat next to Prime Minister Abe racing past Mount Fuji at 313 mph.
The SCMAGLEV is the world’s fastest train and the newest technology in rapid transit. Travelling at over 311 mph, the new train will be an improvement over the current 168 mph Shinkansen “Bullet” train connecting Tokyo and Osaka. The Tokaido Shinkansen will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this fall. America’s fastest train, the Acela, averages only 86 mph in the Northeast Corridor.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to transform the Northeast Corridor of the U.S.,” said Rogers. “Connecting Washington, DC and New York in less than an hour and Baltimore and Washington in 15 minutes is truly a game changer for the region and the country.”
TNEM is a private U.S. company working with JR Central to bring SCMAGLEV technology to the U.S. JR Central has offered to provide the technology to the U.S. and the Japanese government is committed to help finance the first leg of an SCMAGLEV project from Washington, DC to New York.
Prime Minister Abe said that he sees cooperation on the SCMAGLEV train for the Northeast Corridor a strong symbol of the close U.S.-Japan relationship.
“I hope that Ambassador Kennedy will convey her experience to President Obama,” said Prime Minister Abe.
Prime Minister Abe told President Obama in a February 2013 meeting of Japan’s willingness to support high speed rail for the Northeast Corridor. He further gave a speech at the New York Stock Exchange in September 2013 outlining Japan’s willingness to support the US with technology and financing.