Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi today held preliminary discussions with visiting Japanese minister of transport Takeshi Maeda on bilateral issues on the proposed high-speed rail corridors and various aspects of the high-speed trains.
Takeshi Maeda, Japan's minister for land infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT), is heading a high-level delegation, which includes DG for international affairs at MLIT Ryuhei Maeda, Sr Dy DG of MILT's Railway Bureau Akhihiko Tamura, Japanese ambassador to India Akitaka Saiki, president of East Japan Railway Company Satoshi Seino, chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industry Tadaharu Ohashi and president of Japan International Transport Institute Makoto Washizu.
The railway minister was accompanied by members of the Railway Board, consisting of board chairman Vinay Mittal, financial commissioner Vijaya Kanth, member-traffic K K Srivastava, member staff A K Vohra, member electricals Kul Bhushan, member engineering A P Mishra and member-mechanical Sanjiv Handa.
The two countries have been moving in the direction of increased co-operation in high-speed train system and increased cooperation in the infrastructure space over the last year. A delegation led by Ryuhei Maeda, DG for international affairs, had visited New Delhi in October 2011 and held discussions with Trivedi and Railway Board officials. Indian Railway officials have also visited Japan to have first hand understanding of Shikansen system (better known as bullet train).
Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI), Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are also working in this direction.
The railway ministry has selected six corridors for conducting pre-feasibility studies. These include Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai, Chennai-Banalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Trivandrum, Howrah-Haldia and Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi.