HS2 Vs. JR Maglev

With a very similar estimated cost of approximately 50 billion pounds, these train services are being contested differently. One is a venture by a private rail company in Japan, and the other is being discussed by the British government.

Japan an evidently richer economy, with a private companies capable of investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, contrasts no-end with the British climate, where the British government, without FDI, wants to build HS2, a train line,with little in the way of attractive features. Because tax payers money is involved and the economy is suffering, many Brits have been against the profligate spending the project requires. Instead people recommend overhauling old networks and repairing outdated infrastructure. Worst yet, there is a sense that as most won’t benefit from HS2 it shouldn’t be done. A socially exclusive project, such as HS2 can’t be condoned the way the NHS budget is defended.

Whereas arguments in Japan for the JR Maglev, have taken a more positive form;
the Maglev “will have a positive effect on Nagoya, where companies may relocate offices from Tokyo for cheaper rent or taxes” and that the infrastructure will give an overall boost to Japan’s GDP. Such positivism concerning infrastructure investment is near non-existent In the UK. Instead there are general concerns of a bias

What the comparison highlights above all is that the British seem to under appreciate key infrastructure investments. Claiming centralisation of investment around the London region, investment imbalances that lead to furthering inequality.

Furthermore in addition to the political indecisiveness concerning such huge projects. the FT published an article critiquing British intransigence with infrastructure projects. Referring to the availability FDI, especially from Japanese and Chinese firms, who specifically want to invest in large UK infrastructure projects, but are impeded by Parliament’s hesitancy and lack of commitment to infrastructure improvements. > see “UK construction revival stuck at first base” FT


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