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Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii sees opportunities for Japanese firms in U.S. infrastructure investment

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii expressed hope on Tuesday that the $1 trillion infrastructure investment project being kicked off by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration will provide business opportunities for Japanese companies.


The investment project “can be a big business chance for Japanese companies,” Ishii told a news conference on Capitol Hill. He also expressed his eagerness to help Japanese companies win orders related to a high-speed railway project in Texas.


On Tuesday, the Japanese and U.S. governments held their first public-private forum on infrastructure. In line with the event, Ishii held talks with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and other officials, and agreed to strengthen cooperation on developing transportation networks including the Texas project.


Construction of the Texas railway is expected to start in 2019. For the project, Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, is providing technological expertise based on its shinkansen system.


Cooperation on infrastructure development is one of the key items on the agenda at a Japan-U.S. forum on economic dialogue, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.


Trump’s administration hopes to boost economic growth through the investment project, but it is expected to face difficulty in financing the initiative due to a tax reform law enacted late last year.

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