Japan Offered Jakarta – Surabaya Rail Project

Japan Offered Jakarta – Surabaya Rail Project :During an official visit to Tokyo on 7 October 2016 Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan delivered a letter inviting Japan to participate in the Jakarta – Surabaya semi high speed railway project.

Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi confirmed in interviews with local press that Indonesia is “giving priority to Japan.”
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In June 2016 the Japanese government had expressed a real interest in financing the railway project and conducting a feasibility study. “We are interested indeed, but we have yet to receive an official offer from the Indonesian government” said Kennichi Takeyama, Information Director at the Japanese Embassy to Indonesia. The offer has now arrived.

Surabaya, located in East Java, is Indonesia’s second largest city and one of the busiest ports in the country.

Trains would use a 600 km long double track railway at speeds between 180 and 200 kph, thus cutting travel time between the two cities to 3.5 hours.

Japan is expected to provide a loan for the project, with a partnership between Japanese and Indonesian companies looking after construction.
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Japan was dealt a hard blow in September 2015 when Indonesia awarded China the Jakarta to Bandung railway project. Both Japan and China had expressed their interest in the project and had carried out comprehensive studies for the 150 km line, however only the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had studied the possibility of extending the Jakarta to Bandung railway as far as Surabaya. This part of the project, shelved early in 2015 for budgetary reasons, may now be revived as a completely separate line.

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Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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