Japan-backed railway project in Manila to start

A railway project partly financed by Japan is soon to start in the Philippine capital of Manila.

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Officials from the 2 countries attended a ceremony on Monday to mark the full-scale start of the project.

The Philippines plans to build a 100-kilometer railway route linking Manila and a special economic zone north of the capital.

Japan will provide up to 240 billion yen, or roughly 2.2 billion dollars, in low-interest loans to cover the cost for 40 kilometers of the route. Construction is due to begin in late 2018, with the aim of starting operations in 2021.

In the Philippines, infrastructure projects have made only slow progress due mainly to budget shortages.

Chronic traffic congestion in Manila is reportedly causing an economic loss of about 45 million dollars per day.

Japan’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Kazuhide Ishikawa, said at the ceremony that the demand for infrastructure is high in the country.

He said Japan will export infrastructure technologies and provide other forms of support to make bilateral relations even closer.

China, too, has announced huge economic aid to the Philippines, although the 2 countries are involved in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Japan and China are likely to compete over infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

Source and image: NHK
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