Japan has offered assistance in technology for a multi-million-dollar high-speed railway in Malaysia, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shores up relations with Southeast Asian nations.
In a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak during the first leg of his regional tour, Abe said he hoped to strengthen ties with the fast-growing region.
Japan would provide technology for a proposed rail link between Singapore and Malaysia, Abe told reporters.
“Malaysia and Japan agree to cooperate in high technology with Japan providing the technology in the construction of a high-speed rail,” Abe said.
Plans for the railway linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur was announced in February after being repeatedly shelved for years, largely due to cost concerns, reports AFP.
The premier said both countries would develop other infrastructure such as water and waste treatment, and pledged cooperation in other areas, such as finance and security in the Malacca Strait.
More than 85% of Japan’s crude oil from the Middle East passes through the once-pirate infested waterway separating Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Japan was Malaysia’s largest foreign investor from 1980 to 2012 and is the country’s third largest trading partner, according to AFP.