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Indonesia defends rail project after Japan expresses anger

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Like the saying goes; "You get what you pay for".

16 ( +18 / -2 )

What anger did Japan express? this article's headline is misleading.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

What anger did Japan express? this article's headline is misleading.

As often here one has to read between the lines of the translators.

Japan is pissed off because they did not get the contract.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Just my opinion and pure speculation: Probably the Japanese bidders are angry because either their bribes weren't good enough or they might have been good enough, but the Indonesian's took the Japanese and Chinese bribes and chose the Chinese anyways under threat. If Chinese bribed and then you backed out their might be violent consequences. Just speculating.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Who said it was a contest??? The writer of this article is a fabricator trying to fuel public interest

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A win win option would be a joint venture, 50% to Japan and 50% to China.

-16 ( +1 / -17 )

Beijing and Tokyo had long been vying to build the line linking the capital Jakarta with the mountain-fringed city of Bandung

According to Reuters in Jakarta, Japan initially believed it had won the contract after spending USD 3 million on a feasibility study, but in March the Indonesian president decided to invite competitive offers.

After Japan did all the work, China copied the plans and submitted them aa their own.

AFP thinks 6 months is a long time?!

And AFP thinks copying others work and paying bribes is "vying"?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Japan spent about two years and more than 0.2 billion yen for geological survey and passenger estimate. China entered the bid this year and within 5 months, submitted exact the same plan as Japan submitted, the same location of line and stations. Japan has never seen China's boring survey

2 ( +11 / -9 )

There better be no major accidents on that line.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I thought I read that Indonesia wasn't interested in a highspeed train anymore? Either way, they picked a lower price over quality, they will regret that in the end.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

tinawatanabe: "China entered the bid this year and within 5 months, submitted exact the same plan as Japan submitted, the same location of line and stations. Japan has never seen China's boring survey"

Japan has never seen China's "boring" survey and yet you seem to know it was the "exact same" plan, eh? Except that it wasn't exactly the same at all, and hence it was chosen. Sorry, but the reality hurts.

Another lesson in international dealings for Japan. With the sub deal with Australia likely to fall through as well Japan needs to stop feeling that it's entiteled to all the bidding processes it enters and learn how to negotiate a little better to get them. China seems to know the game.

papigiulio: "I thought I read that Indonesia wasn't interested in a highspeed train anymore?"

Partly correct. They bailed on the 'shinkansen', but not a regular highspeed train project. Unless they've gone back on that altogether as well.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Except that it wasn't exactly the same at all, and hence it was chosen.

The same construction plan of course. The only difference was the financial part.

China seems to know the game.

Stealing and copying.

-1 ( +12 / -12 )

The government shouldn't be in the business of building railways anyway. Leave it to the private sector and communists please.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan has never seen China's "boring" survey and yet you seem to know it was the "exact same" plan, eh? Except that it wasn't exactly the same at all, and hence it was chosen. Sorry, but the reality hurts.

"boring" as in Geology. Geographical survey was conducted by Japan. That's how you determine how and where the route should be placed.

http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20151001k0000m030116000c.html

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Probably the Japanese bidders are angry because either their bribes weren't good enough or they might have been good enough, but the Indonesian's took the Japanese and Chinese bribes and chose the Chinese anyways.

This is exactly what happened. And this is why doing businesses with governments in developing countries is very risky. And this is also a reason why the great majority of developing countries never fully develop; they are too corrupt for viable economies to form.

Having ridden on China's rough and noisy high speed trains (which I will never do again), were I Indonesia, China would never have been allowed to be a bidder. But money talks.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I will not ride dangerous Chinese train. How they can make it safe even they have a lot of serious accidents in far shorter bullet train history than Japan. Japan has ZERO accident. ****Why? it is all copied! Where they copy from? Japan. Why copy made a tremendous serious accident? Because Chinese has no responsibility but concern their instant money then they would not copy in detail plus plus plus. Safety related, this kind of transportation system, it is suicide for Indonesian to rely on Chinese. I hope at least construction work is no done by Chinese.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

It seems the Japan side's stubborn attitudes on financing cost them the deal.

I've been in similar negotiation situations where J companies refuse to lower their margins and lose deals. In situations like this, better understanding of the customers needs (and communication) is necessary. (being less arrogant would help too).

I've done some good business in Indonesia and beat out companies on projects mainly because of financing issues and working to find a financial solution that works for both. Negotiation is key and Chinese are very good negotiators!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Japan has ZERO accident.>

Trains in Japan are very safe but there has been some serious accidents. Better get your facts right before venting your tirade.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Trains in Japan are very safe but there has been some serious accidents. Better get your facts right before venting your tirade.

Yes, granted the Shinkansen has a great record, but Japan's other trains have been involved in some very serious accidents. Reading some of the sour grape posts, you'd be forgiven if you thought there'd been no train accidents in Japan.

I've travelled on high speed rail in China, including the Maglev at Pudong airport. I was pretty impressed. AND the fare was a FRACTION of what it would cost in Japan. Let's face it, high speed rail in China, Korea and Taiwan is just as good, but so much cheaper to use.

Tina and Nige:

Did I mention sour grapes?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Japan has ZERO accident.

Trains in Japan are very safe but there has been some serious accidents. Better get your facts right before venting your tirade.

i think they were referring to the shinkansen, which to date, has never had a fatal accident due to train malfunction or derailment.

and to think, all of china's rail technology came from japan. that's the price for playing with fire; sometimes you get burned. doing business in china is a very risky proposition.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Did I mention sour grapes?

Not really. In my experience, Taiwan is good. Korea and China doesn't even compare to Shinkansen. As I stated in another article, there are people/country who are content on Hyundai's as opposed to BMW. In this case, Indonesia chose Hyundai while U.K. chose a Beemer.

Based on the article I linked, it looks like China is offering more than this rail project. How can a poor nation such as Indonesia resist?

3 ( +10 / -7 )

@nakanoguy01

Thanks for your clarification. There is no doubt that Japan has some of the best trains in the world. Not only are they safe and advanced, they are bloody good looking, cool and even cute. I will love to ride on the Rilakkuma train!

Let's face it, high speed rail in China, Korea and Taiwan is just as good, but so much cheaper to use.>

Japan need to learn not to underestimate other countries. This was what SONY did. The result cannot be more obvious.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

In the present economic climate the Indonesia govt decided to go with the cheaper option. Japan lost on price and that's it...their technology might be superior but the Chinese proposition was more compelling. Any anger is sour grapes...Japan has been getting plenty of other railway technology orders around the world...especially since Hitachi moved it's railway division head office to the UK and installed a British CEO to spearhead it's efforts.

Btw..not all of China,s rail technology came from Japan.. They have Siemens systems up and running as well.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Don't worry, Japan's got the Olympics. That'll make a lot of money.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Tinawatanabe: "copied the construction plans, of course"

She says, after admitting no one has seen them. Typical hate and bias at play.

Nigelboy: "Based on the article I linked, it looks like China is offering more than this rail project. How can a poor nation such as Indonesia resist?"

As others have said, Japan's other 'offerings', and to suggest only China was in on it would be fooling yourself, since Japan always bribes, we're simply not enough. Now it is indeed sour grapes, or just the bitterness from them of having come in yet again second to china.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Japan is better off as both Indonesia and China are two of the most corrupt countries to deal with. The potential for problems is huge.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

had not required any Indonesian government financing or a government guarantee, unlike the Japanese plan. WOW risky move especially from Indonesia, Itll end up costing the Chinese money as I doubt the Indonesians will be able to pay for it in reasonable amount of time. Chinas higher interest rate with no guarantee may as well be 0% interest

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Antthom: "Japan is better off as both Indonesia and China are two of the most corrupt countries to deal with. The potential for problems is huge." Exactly why it's sour grapes: had Japan won the I'd Indonesia wouldn't be "corrupt", they would suddenly be "wise", and a good partner, etc. Two weeks ago Japan was desperate to deal with this "corrupt" nation.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

She said the Chinese bid was picked due to its “financial structure”—because the Chinese had not required any Indonesian government financing or a government guarantee, unlike the Japanese plan.

Which could be interpreted as "Japan made us jump through too many hoops and we were nearly strangled to death by the red tape". How it most likely went down:

(1) China paid more in 'sweeteners' (bribes).

(2) Japan is understandably upset that China has essentially copied their technology & managed to get prices down (ethically or not).

Similar is happening in African infrastructure projects. Bribes have been paid for decades & China will always use its communist advantage to get projects done as cheaply as possible. They have won many agricultural & mining projects in Australia, and insist on using Chinese workers & state-owned logistics to carry out operations. You just can't compete with this.

It's amazing that Japan, a country with arguably the best rail system in the world & one that's prone to earthquakes, lost the bid. This will set a precedent for future rail projects.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan doesn't handle rejection well when it comes to losing out on international tenders. Even if this decision has not be made yet, surely nothing can be gained by giving the finger to your intended customers. Moreover, all you have to do is look at NHK to realize that Japan (the government) is more than willing to take a sly dig at other countries when its bids fall short. However, Tokyo has to realize that we no longer live in world where news for domestic consumption can be cordoned off from news for international consumption just by using the language barrier.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan forfeited since the Indonesian government refused to provide government guarantee of payment nor include it into national budgetary item and negotiate with a State owned Enterprise and not directly with the government. Japanese study included a projection of ridership in which it concluded that the route will not be able to gain profit for the first decade and will require government subsidiaries to keep it afloat for operation.

Government should not gamble with public funds and that is exactly why Japan forfeited.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not surprising! Words of assurance isn't binding!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

transparent but one eye closed? if the rumors r true.. quality vs price.. safety vs pop if chn's train is of lower quality and accidents happened, jakarta has endless ppl wont matter?

pity the japanese for their hard work wasted...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sounds like China has bypassed Japan cyber security, they are great at stealing and copying something. It doesn't surprise me at all especially the article mentioning the things China came in with to make their offer appear much better and attractive they had to know what Japan was bidding.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Looks like Japan got SHANGHAI'ed in Jakarta!

No doubt Indonesia is going to have regrets down the road for this decision, BUT Japan has clearly BLOWN IT!

Not only did Japan lose out on this due to poor communication it now looks like a JERK for publically bringing this up, looks bad Japan, you come across as a sore loser!

Will be interesting watching how the Oz sub bid thingy goes.........

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In my eyes, Chinese bullet trains are almost identical with Japan. In my living memory, China has never spent big bucks for bullet train technology. They love stealing technology including Boeing and Airbus design.

Japan has made huge mistake for transferring technical know how. Now China is getting interested in Japanese weather satellite which can transmit ultra high definition pictures.

Japan is losing many markets to China. US, Germany and Japan should realize that China is no longer making toys, shoes and clothing for export. They will make aero planes, bullet train, wind turbines, solar panels and satellites with discount price. If China can make everything, U.S., Japan, South Korea and Germany will be broke and unemployment will be sky rocketed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan already has MRT projects in Jakarta and few others albeit with smaller value. I'm biased towards Japanese trains of course, but Chinese proposal is to good to be true. I just hope the Chinese will really deliver and not making it sub-par products or halfhearted executions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just one thingy.. the Taiwan Rapid Train service was provided and constructed by a Joint Venture between Taiwan and Japan. Being the technological and technical part coming from Japan... so the system in Taiwan is in fact Japanese.

Why the fares in Japan are so high then?, first of all.. cost of land (land in Japan is not cheap, if you didn't know that), another thing is the human resources (wages are an important thing), utility cost and finally on the fare is included the R&D (and Maintenance) fee.. you know R&D... the wonderful department that can give you new better, faster and safer trains including the maglev?

I bet the R&D department in China's counterpart is more like a Xerox Docucentre kind of thing so is a bit more cheaper to run.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hongo: "Japan doesn't handle rejection well when it comes to losing out on international tenders. "

Because they believe they are entitled, and can't understand how another nation could possibly be chosen. Them giing the finger to potential customers in this case is sour grapes and shows their true feelings. Another example is in their dealings with Australia, telling them they are not skilled enough to build the subs domestically (then claiming they were misunderstood). They're like petulant children because natter what they get their way at home. NHK, which you mentioned , are a prime example; scandals? Tell the public off? No matter!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

I read in the news that Indonesia scrapped the whole high speed train project all together so as not to upset the losing bidder, and now it is on again? Does the Chinese plan include where they bury the whole carriage in case of accident before it gets out of the news?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I read in the news that Indonesia scrapped the whole high speed train project all together so as not to upset the losing bidder, and now it is on again?

Well sounds like they scrapped it because it wasn't open to other bidders, then they started a new bid and allowed China to use Japan's plan. Obviously they intended to do this from the start - you don't just flip-flop on such a big project to not hurt someone's feelings.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Hidetoshi Iga

will not ride dangerous Chinese train. How they can make it safe even they have a lot of serious accidents in far shorter bullet train history than Japan

They haven't had a lot of serious accidents; they've had one serious accident, the Wenzhou crash. And while China's bullet train history is a lot shorter than Japan's, the system is far more extensive and the daily ridership far greater - within a decade, China's cummulative HSR ridership will surpass the shinkansen's. Statistically, HSR in China is a very safe mode of transport. The really alarming thing about that Wenzhou crash was the way they tried to cover it all up - literally! - instead of carrying out a thorough and transparent investigation. Also, as others have pointed out, although not on the shinkansen there have been major train accidents in Japan. As is the case in most other countries - the Spanish AVE recently had a bad accident too, but I don't think people would claim that Spanish trains are dangerous on that basis alone.

@Nigel

In my experience, Taiwan is good. Korea and China doesn't even compare to Shinkansen

I've ridden the Chinese and Japanese systems extensively, the Korean one multiple times, and the Taiwanese one once. I agree that China's isn't as good as Japan's - but that's nothing to do with the trains themselves, which are just as good. It's thier absurd security procedures, and the ridiculous way the tickets are sold. It's all well and good having a 5-hour train from Beijing to Shanghai, but when it takes one hour (a day or two in advance of travel) to buy the ticket (has to be done in person, for the purpose of checking all passengers' IDs, at the station, where the line is huge) and one hour to enter the station on the day of travel (ID checks & bag scanners, again with a huge line), it somewhat defeats the purpose!

As for Korea, I'd be curious to know why you say it doesn't compare with the shinkansen? It's just as fast, just as safe, and half the price. The trains don't look as good, but they're actually more comfortable in my opinion - having just two seats on both sides of the aisle, rather than 2 on one and 3 on the other.

@no-one in particular

China's trains are fast, and while the system is very user-unfriendly (booking & security etc) in China it is remarkably cheap. You can go from Beijing to Shenzhen - on the HK border, a 10-hour ride - for around 16,000 yen equivalent. They acquired HSR technology on the cheap, and now they are exporting it on the cheap. Expect China to be involved in most HSR projects in the developing world in the coming years - Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, all likely... even the UK is inviting China to bid, and is likely to accept their bid as it will be the cheapest. Many in the UK are uncomfortable with China building our critical infrastucture (new nuclear power stations too), but as others on the thread have pointed out - money talks

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"They love stealing technology including Boeing and Airbus design."

The don't steal it. Corporations based in Japan and other developed country voluntarily give it to China in exchange for market access. The Europeans and Canadians have also handed their technology to the Chinese.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Copied?...as if Japan itself invented the trains and everything else, as if Japan never copied from western inventions, tech, innovation and culture.

Maybe the truth probably is that Japan has no innovation nor hunger nor realistic approach and maybe Japan's trains are not that impressive anymore and the financing aspect is just too one-sided and ridiculously heavy for "poor" and normal countries, not to mention the arrogance and constant badmouthing China on Japan's part.

This is a good dose of humility and reality check for sinking Japan. Maybe this is what Japan needs, as it can't even count on Asian countries as being "anti-China" or as pals to join its wet dream of encircling China in stopping her economic might etc.

Huge problems between China and Indonesia in their deal?...as if Japan would be free of the same problems if it had gotten the deal...besides, ha ha ha, Japan couldn't even win the bid fair and square and that is already a HUGE problem as it sets Japan back in terms of pride, morale and economically. China won and they say it could be the frontrunner for other Asian projects. Japan, out of spite and envy and immaturity, dishes out bad luck/bad wishes to China and Indonesia (Suga saying the deal would not be successful for China and Indonesia), yet Japan itself has more than just bad luck such as severe superiority complex and really poor planning (how could you lose when you are a few years ahead in your bidding?) and poor understanding that it is not tech but also other things that would win over a client. How COULD Japan expect a "poor" country to pay for a one-sided burdensome payment plan? Japan has no realistic approach, as usual, when dealing with the outside world. Moreover, Japan cannot blame China for giving the client "incentives" , as Japan itself is known for shamelessly bribing (and getting caught red-handed) poor and rich countries...so why didn't Japan regroup and offer more incentives if it complains abt China's tactics esp. as Japan knows how all this works.

As I said previously, Japan is acting like a neurotic infantile insecure brat , badmouthing the fair winner and even the client. Doesn't Japan know that the client decides, not the bidders. And if Japan now cries and moans about it, why didn't it offer a much stronger deal instead of overrating its own technology and chance to win the bidding (especially it boasted of having spent four years getting to know the ins and outs of what the client was needing/expecting, but yet offered a very pricey deal to a "poor" client)? And isn't the won bid for a slower train and not the overrated and way too expensive Sinkasen?

And if Japan now blames Indonesia for being corrupt, then what on earth was it doing trying to do business with such a "corrupt" nation client? As I said many times, Japan cannot keep badmouthing others and China...China never badmouths Japan and it won, so Japan should learn something from that.

Japan needs something else other than magical excuses and badmouthing China to even barely stay afloat and in the game and barely competitive. And Japan knows it, as China is leaving Japan far far behind in the dust.

Japan thinks its products and services are like a godsend, but it can't even make TVs anymore and its five TV makers can't even compete with the innovative and affordable Samsung or Philips TVs. Sony is now a has-been as Apple dominates. Toshiba sinking. Hitachi barely squeaking by. Panasonic ended some of its lines. JR trains losing to China/German/Taiwan/Swedish etc train tech. Even military tech can't go in a straight momentum, esp with Abe's bogus security bills, and the Australian sub deal making both Aussies and Japanese uneasy. Etc. In fact, as somebody mentioned above, China is innovating like crazy and now is leading or co-leading in all fields.

Japan can still make good rice cookers that Chinese buy...but try convincing clients of the expensive speedy train systems that other bidders can offer at much better prices and identical service/tech.

Now Japan will copy China in its future tactics..

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

The Indonesian flip-flopping gives you something to think about and the shrewd Chinese played right into it. That said I agree with some other posters that it may be a good thing Japan did not get the contract, considering the rampant corruption and graft in Indonesia. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese project will pan out. I remember the highway 7 construction by the Chinese on a soft loan from Beijing under Xi as vice premier. The highway began crumbling in just 4 years time as Chinese companies told Cambodian workers to use less concrete. The surplus was sold on the black market.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The train deal is a business transaction, not diplamacy. It's nothing to express anger about.

On the other hand, this may be the best thing that could have happened to Japan. Considering China's' dismal railway safety records, it may not be long before Indonesians regret their decision.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The U.S. also decided to employ the Chinese high speed rail system to be constructed between SF and Las Vegas. There probably is not as far vast a technological edge for the Japanese system as many Japanese like to believe. China's high speed rail system is a lot more extensive than Japan's and naturally they are accumulating expertise through actual operational experience everyday. If the Chinese system works fine in the litigious U.S. (meaning rigorous screening), it will hugely boost the credibility of the Chinese rapid rail system and many other countries will follow suit in adopting the Chinese system. Doesn't bode well for Japan's infrastructure export strategy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

gabrial888

It's between Los Angeles and Las Vegas not San Francisco and it's a private endeavor not a public one. The original plan was to use steam locomotives. LoL

This is another plan that would probably not go beyond the drawing boards.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the shinkansen, which to date, has never had a fatal accident due to train malfunction or derailment.

True, but only because when the Nagano earthquake caused the Joetsu shinkansen to derail, it happened to fall inwards towards the opposite track, rather than outwards off the elevated track to the fields below, and also because there happened to be no train coming the other way.

It is a great safety record, to be sure, but not perfect.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Well....Japan could trust more in Indonesia, and make flexible package contract. Definitely Japanese business are not flexible enough.....what a shame.....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Tiring You are right. Los Angeles it is. Thanks for correction. Will it be built entirely with the private sector initiative? The announcement was timed to precede Xi JIn Ping's U.S. visit. It's admirable if they can build it without any public sector involvement. It also means the Chinese side is taking a lot of risk as, even if it does not go beyond the drawing boards, it's a lot of planning stage investment wasted, not to mention the risk of making Mr. Xi lose face.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i bet that the Chinese has given better $ commission. in indonesia, it works in this way.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ringman

To you, as well as all the other JT experts who claim that Japain also "copies foreign tech".

Have you ever heard of something called "Intellectual Property Licensing"?

Japain licenses foreign tech, does not "copy" it!!!

Japain is a democracy, in spite of all your expert contrary opinion. Being a democracy, Japain is not immune to court challenges if and when a patent is deemed to have been "copied", i.e. breached.

Contrary to your assertions, if Japain was to "copy a patent", the injured foreign party court and rightly would bring a legal challenge that Japainese courts would be forced deal with.

Contrast that with China where copyright infringement is not only encouraged, but foreigners cannot sue a Chinese.

China does not only blatantly copies; it's actively engaged in promoting it.

Get yer facts right, at least on this one.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

ringman2 As I said many times, Japan cannot keep badmouthing others and China...China never badmouths Japan and it won, so >Japan should learn something from that.

Where in the article above does it quote Japan as badmouthing China. You say "China never badmouths Japan" What planet do you live on?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

When the Chinese train 'comes off the rails', literally, lets see who's left making excuses. China's high speed train can't even deal with lightning strikes in less than 5 years of operation and killed many because of it. Maybe Indonesia forgot all about that safety record. Clearly those people in charge don't value life as much as they lead on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smithinjapanOCT. 02, 2015 - 01:51PM JST

Because they believe they are entitled, and can't understand how another nation could possibly be chosen. Them giing the finger to potential customers in this case is sour grapes and shows their true feelings.

To be fair, bribes or no, the very fact China offered a less stringent financing deal and Germany to build the sub in Australia in their respective bids is kind of a quiet admission they are in fact offering inferior product. No one sweetens the deal like that unless they don't think they can win on product alone. And from that viewpoint, the Japanese sour grapes is somewhat understandable, and it does say something negative about Indonesian and Australian governments to knowingly go for inferior product for eye-candy.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Japan and China bid for the contract for India, and Japan won, not China. India is a huge project. Indonesia is small potatoes (no offence).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Smithinjapan

"Partly correct. They bailed on the 'shinkansen', but not a regular highspeed train project. Unless they've gone back on that altogether as well."

What about re-reading the whole thingy, this time slowly???

"The winner was expected to be unveiled early last month, only for authorities to turn around at the last minute and announce they were opting for a cheaper, medium-speed train and reopening the bid process.

But on Tuesday, Japan’s chief government spokesman said that an Indonesian envoy had been sent to Tokyo to tell him Jakarta had changed its mind again—and China’s original bid for a high-speed train had been accepted."

A total farce!

Shame on you for pretending you don't know what happened.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I don't know how true this is, but on Japanese TV, there was the following explanation.

1) In the final bid, the Chinese offer was a little more expensive than the Japanese. 2) The clincher was 2 fold, one was that the Chinese did not require Indonesian governmental gurantee for the financing and the second was that the completion time was much shorter for the Chinese.

The Chinese are saying that they can complete the project by 2018, while the Japanese offer required test operations for 2 years after mechanical construction, meaning that they would not be ready until 2021.

One of the panelists mentioned that the reason for the speedier competion was due to the fact that unlike the Japanese offer which included laying out brand new rails, the Chinese was opting for using the exisiting rails and upgrading them only, which apparently means that they need not do any boring nor geological surveys.

It was also explained that the location of stations are chosen by Indonesian politicians and hence the Chinese choice of the locations of the stations was not copied from the Japanese offer.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Dunno but it seems like this is just a taste of what is in store for Japan from here on out.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@gabrial888OCT. 02, 2015 - 03:51PM JST The U.S. also decided to employ the Chinese high speed rail system to be constructed between SF and Las Vegas.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Not SF. So Calif. Done deal. No more news. Carolyn Goodman announced quite while ago but did not say private so we believe City and/or State is involved. I doubt other states will be interested in railroad.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Does not seem "transparent" to me.... especially when they're still actually negotiating the "terms" of the contract. One would think the terms would have been finalized before things were signed. Although when you really think about it... the Japanese are quite well versed in greasing the proper people in order to get what they want. Look at the International Whaling Commission. So if Japan lost it wasn't because they didn't try.... the Chinese probably beat them at their own game.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Interesting, Japan, pioneer of bullet train tech loses this contract too. They just lost to China in building America's west coast HSR line too.

Let us see how well this Buy China (at discount rates) play out. I for one expect to see much of the shoddy work play out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As others have said, Japan's other 'offerings', and to suggest only China was in on it would be fooling yourself, since Japan always bribes, we're simply not enough. Now it is indeed sour grapes, or just the bitterness from them of having come in yet again second to china.

Smith.

As usual, you didn't have the courtesy to read the article I linked to yet have the nerve to comment on 'offering' and 'bribes' which isn't what the article alluded to.

As some have already stated, the deal breaker was Japan's constant requirement of Indonesia government's guarantee on the loan and the partial assumption of the construction/operating costs.

In addition, you completely ignored tinawatanabe's post in regards to China coming in the game late and utilizing the route/station location plan which Japan submitted without China ever conducting a geographical survey. As Transport Ministry official answered in the interview,

「ルートも駅の位置も全部同じで、違うのは金額の見積もりだけ。これは明らかに先行する日本案のコピーだ」。

"Route and the location of stations are exactly the same and the only difference is the submitted costs. This is clearly a copy of Japanese plan".

3 ( +9 / -6 )

She said the Chinese bid was picked due to its “financial structure”—because the Chinese had not required any Indonesian government financing or a government guarantee, unlike the Japanese plan.

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Losing this deal may be able to Japan to learn how to deal wirh Asian countries. Indonesia has swwp rooted mistrust of Japan back to Skaruno and his First Lady time.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

To be fair I don't think China copied it just used what was provided by Indonesia for a comparison. Basically Indonesia wanted a cheap solution and not be burden of direct involvement which is exactly what PRC offered. PRC has placed a 4% premium which is really unthinkable for a national loan but did not ask for Indonesian government guarantee of payment nor budgetary involvement so both got what they wanted. PRC now can boast their technology can be trusted and President Widodo can grin with pride that he had brought HSR into first into ASEAN nations. Not really care about what may happen 10~20 years down the road.

Boy talk about crooked self centered politics.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ Nigelboy, and you completely disregarded Smith's correct or incorrect assertion that certain officials may not have had enough "incentive" to direct the deal in Japan's favor. You cannot always believe what Indonesia say's the reasons were. Smith was just posting his usual cynical view on was could have been the real reason. Nothing wrong with that.... freedom of speech.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good learning moment for Japan. Never show final hand until bid is in the bag and in writing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So much for the Flying Geese Paradigm....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_geese_paradigm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Nigelboy, and you completely disregarded Smith's correct or incorrect assertion that certain officials may not have had enough "incentive" to direct the deal in Japan's favor. You cannot always believe what Indonesia say's the reasons were. Smith was just posting his usual cynical view on was could have been the real reason. Nothing wrong with that.... freedom of speech.

It's a choice of buying a Hyundai where they are offering no money down, 100% financing versus a BMW 5 series where they require 20% up front with financing that requires a co-signer. The Indonesian government chose the former. Freedom of choice.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Chinese complied with Indonesian wish, just like Chinese followed Vegas plan, and getting contract

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I hope there are no accidents.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@bicultural: Because ordinal people are always fussy about numbers and probability here, Vegas always compute own stats. It computed probability of accident rate.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As others have astutely posted, you get what you pay for....

Link: Wenzhou Train Crash

I just hope for the sake of the passengers of this new high-speed rail system that nothing "unfortunate" happens. After all, we are talking about two countries where corruption in the business and construction sectors is so deeply entrenched and widespread that injury and death from cut corners and shoddy workmanship are all but common.

Best of luck to commuters in Indonesia.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What it is truly amazing is that despite sitting on their buts for the last 50 years, while Japan was building the most advanced rail system on the planet, the Chinese just woke up from their communist-induced slumber, and in few years just develop a technology almost as good as the Japanese Shinkansen. All of this without stealing the technology from Japan!! These Chinese people are amazing. I wish I can ride their trains and consume more of their amazing products. Clearly they are smarter then everyone else on the planet. Same thing for other technologies, like planes and wind turbines. While it took the US and Europe most half of the last century to create these advanced technology the amazing Chinese instead could master them so quickly. What the world needs is more China. They will be our saviors and frankly I feel like apologizing a bit to them for the last 100 years of humiliation. Totally undeserved. Go China!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@LFRAgainOCT. 03, 2015 - 11:04AM JST As others have astutely posted, you get what you pay for.... Link: Wenzhou Train Crash I just hope for the sake of the passengers of this new high-speed rail system that nothing "unfortunate" happens. After all, we are talking about two countries where corruption in the business and construction sectors is so deeply entrenched and widespread that injury and death from cut corners and shoddy workmanship are all but common. Best of luck to commuters in Indonesia.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Not two countries, One country and one city in one of 50 states, Las Vegas is not a country.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

nigelboy: "As usual, you didn't have the courtesy to read the article I linked to yet have the nerve to comment on 'offering' and 'bribes' which isn't what the article alluded to."

And as usual, you only have the 'courtesy' of linking us to right-wing, bias, discriminatory news sites, so why on earth WOULD I take it seriously? I could just as easily, no doubt, find you a Chinese media article blasting the Japan-side and saying that it in fact copied Chinese designs and the Japanese media was just making it all up. But why would I post such bias rubbish when that is all it is? Don't talk about discourteousness when all you can do is talk about BMWs and Hyundais numerous times, neither of which are remotely related to trains or the countries involved, and when you yourself in previous posts say "in my experience" when referring to the qualities of both systems -- it is opinion, or at best anecdotal 'evidence', not fact.

And none of it changes the fact that most of the posts on here suddenly decrying Indonesia's decision, including your beloved Mainichi Shinbum and NHK, calling them 'corrupt' and a bad nation, are nothing but sour grapes and sudden indignation at coming in second to China yet again.

And just incase you think I'm being biased or what have you, I would take a Japanese train pretty much any day of the week over Chinese in terms of safety and efficiency, but in the case of Indonesia, even in your car anecdote, it is Indonesia's choice whether they choose something more suitable to their costs and needs or some overinflated, more expensive product that does not offer service after sales.

Japan lost this one. They need to alter their tactics and do better, obviously.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What it is truly amazing is that despite sitting on their buts for the last 50 years, while Japan was building the most advanced rail system on the planet, the Chinese just woke up from their communist-induced slumber, and in few years just develop a technology almost as good as the Japanese Shinkansen. All of this without stealing the technology from Japan!! These Chinese people are amazing. I wish I can ride their trains and consume more of their amazing products. Clearly they are smarter then everyone else on the planet. Same thing for other technologies, like planes and wind turbines. While it took the US and Europe most half of the last century to create these advanced technology the amazing Chinese instead could master them so quickly. What the world needs is more China. They will be our saviors and frankly I feel like apologizing a bit to them for the last 100 years of humiliation. Totally undeserved. Go China!

The problem is that while China builds fast, they do not build well. As my Chinese friend said the other day 'if you want the same quality in Beijing as you get in Japan, you need to be prepared to pay twice as much as in Japan'. The Chinese are not so good at building strong foundations.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@smithinjapan Japan lost this one. They need to alter their tactics and do better, obviousl

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I agree with you. I thought Japanese shinkansen is good but any Japanese companies avoid Vegas area. .

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I saw the something strange thing changing hands under the table between Indonesia officials and Chinese delegate.

Japanese Government must understand about money (aid) diplomatic is not always succeed because the aid money goes to projects and not a pocket of politicians and bureaucrats. Indonesian politicians and bureaucrats are most corrupted peoples in the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@smithinjapanOCT. 03, 2015 - 12:56PM JST

And as usual, you only have the 'courtesy' of linking us to right-wing, bias, discriminatory news sites, so why on earth WOULD I take it seriously?

First, Mainichi is generally considered to be the next most left wing of the 4 papers after Asahi. Second, whatever its slant, Mainichi is big enough to be a valid source and so it is improper for you to denounce it without cause. It may be that there is a Chinese article, and I for one have a casual interest in their side of the story, but you have to find it first.

Japan lost this one. They need to alter their tactics and do better, obviously.

That's obvious. The problem is exactly what tactics need to be changed and should they?

Should Japan resort to not having financial guarantees or write plans that they know would run into problems? After all, once they've committed, it won't be easy for them to back out. So, should Japan resort to that?

Or for the submarine deal that you also mentioned offhand, it isn't rocket science to know that many selfish short sighted people in Australia wanted local production. Is it correct to just say "Sure, you can local produce" while thinking "We know you won't make it. But who cares? That's what you wanted and once you commit all your failures only wind up gaining us more money?"

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@kazuaki You were writing well until you reote unrelated submarine stories.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Philippines will be more happy and welcome help from Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nori Japan is lucky Fi;ipin ;is giving a chance to display newest shinkansen in the world. Do you know Vegas area have shortage in workable people except doctors bevause Fi;ipino snd Chinese doctors take care of sick people?
-7 ( +0 / -7 )

LFRAgainOCT. 03, 2015 - 11:04AM JST

I just hope for the sake of the passengers of this new high-speed rail system that nothing "unfortunate" happens. After all, we are talking about two countries where corruption in the business and construction sectors is so deeply entrenched and widespread that injury and death from cut corners and shoddy workmanship are all but common.

Best of luck to commuters in Indonesia.

Are you talking about Japan? Ig you hate Japan you should not come here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Congratulations to the Chinese for winning the contract, and good luck to Indonesia with their cheaper train system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And as usual, you only have the 'courtesy' of linking us to right-wing, bias, discriminatory news sites, so why on earth WOULD I take it seriously?

Smith, or dear. You are probably the first person on this earth to label Mainich as "right-wing" bias. Hence, why would anybody take you seriously??

And just incase you think I'm being biased or what have you, I would take a Japanese train pretty much any day of the week over Chinese in terms of safety and efficiency,

And that's my point so why on earth do you get upset about BMW and Hyundai analogy? In this case, Hyundai WON and BMW lost with a certain customer.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Toshiko,

Not two countries, One country and one city in one of 50 states, Las Vegas is not a country.

I'm referring to the high speed rail system agreed upon between Indonesia and China mentioned clearly in the article above. I have no idea why you're going on about a private sector XpressWest train line deal between China Railway International USA and the hotel and casino developer Marnell Companies. I never referred to it, but you seem to really want to. Just to be clear, Las Vegas and Palmdale are not in Indonesia. In fact, they aren't even in the above article.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@LFRA Both indonesia and China are not known corrupted in construction works.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"A win win option would be a joint venture, 50% to Japan and 50% to China."

I have long thought that JapanToday could use a humor section, but every once in a while a nugget like this drops out of the comments and brightens my day.

Some people would look at this comment, and their first reaction would be to make assumptions about the person who posted it. I am not going to do that. Instead, I will wonder what planet this person lives on. What reality has shaped this person's understanding of win-win and joint venture? I would love to go to that world and see how people live. How do they make financial and business-related decisions? What is considered childish or mature in such a place? I would watch any documentary that could take me to such a place and explain it to me.

But anyway, I don't see a lot of "anger" here on the part of the J. government. I don't see any reason that Japan should have expected any process cooked up with China and Indonesia to be fair, reasonable, or in the best interests of all parties and clients. You know, in THIS world, China builds trains that fail disastrously, and Indonesia does not pay its bills. The Indonesian people will be the big losers here. They are going to get a crummy system with corrupt operators and it will be way overbudget.

Japan dodged a bullet ..... train.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Contrary to 'all Chinese high-speed rail tech was stolen from Japan', wikipedia indicates it was legitimate technology transfer, more from Canada and Germany than Japan. Japanese consortium complained about it but didn't follow up on patent threats.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_China#Acquisition_of_foreign_technology

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan has been giving Indonesia a tremendous amount of financial assistance. 47% of all world wide ODA (2001-2005) Source is : http://www.id.emb-japan.go.jp/oda/en/datastat_02.htm

For whatever reason the Chinese offer was chosen, it seems clear to me that Japan will no longer favour Indonesia as in the past, which I think would be a detriment to the Indonesian people as a whole.

There is no such thing as a free lunch in the modern world. If Japan will not be getting payback for her generosities in the past, then no more generosities.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Heaven forbid there's a major design flaw accident because Indonesia won't get investigative transparency from China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@lostrune2OCT. 05, 2015 - 03:32PM JST Heaven forbid there's a major design flaw accident because Indonesia won't get investigative transparency from China.

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It hasn't been even started yet, contract is still in negotiation stage.. And you claim a major design flaw accident

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"hasn't been even started yet, contract is still in negotiation stage.. And you claim a major design flaw accident"

I think lostrune is making the very valid point that "rule of law", especially related to Chinese rail accidents, is probably not something that Indonesia can count on. Even Chinese people were heavily critical of Chinese operator and government efforts to cover up details of their multi-fatality bullet train accident.

Simply put, if there were an accident in Indonesia related to a major design flaw, and if Indonesians got as much transparency in the investigation as there was in the Chinese accident, Indonesians would be disappointed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@lostrune2OCT. 05, 2015 - 03:32PM JST Heaven forbid there's a major design flaw accident because Indonesia won't get investigative transparency from China.

It hasn't been even started yet, contract is still in negotiation stage.. And you claim a major design flaw accident

I believe the nuance was lost on you, toshiko.

"Heaven forbid" denotes a possible future, not a present claim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's concerns are valid because the issue is basically about high speed rail infrastucture in Southeast Asia as a whole, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand the three Indochina Countries, Myanmar and perhaps Brunei all need to use the same system for economies of scale and to enable cross-border train services. Because Indonesia has strangely and in an irregular way decided in favour of China, all of Southeast Asia is now likely to use Chinese trains. As well, much associated infrastructure (think steelmaking, parts common to the auto industry) will now be sourced from China, not Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China's bullet train system has had only one fatal accident as far as I know. And that was on the longest bullet train line in the world and caused by a lightning strike. There are now so many bullet trains in China with such long train lines, I would not be surprised if China has already passed Japan's total bullet train service mileage to date. That means greater probability of an accident of course.

But we shall see. Pundits should see this as a proving ground. If there is a serious accident on the line China builds, and so many are so positive it will happen, you will be able to scream "I told you so!" And then, with regards to other international bullet train projects, the second mouse will get the cheese. The second mouse will be Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I believe such a project will not materialize in a short run if at all...I will be back in a year to confirm...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since nigelboy has brought in the Hyundai analogy into the discussion, I just thought I'd leave this here:

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/hyundai-equus-vs-lexus-ls460l-comparison-test

His comparison is surprisingly apt for this discussion. One side copies the other's technology, matches it in every pragmatic way, offers a much better value, and triumphs over the Japanese offering. This isn't 1985 anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since nigelboy has brought in the Hyundai analogy into the discussion

I brought Hyundai and it's liberal financing standards versus that of BMW and it's consertative financing analogy. Hence, your comparison is moot. Gyopo's got some serious complexes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

indonesia this week is asking the help of japan in quenching bush fire. we will come to your aid during the derailment rather

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This Newsweek article gives you insight on how the bid was rigged.

http://www.newsweekjapan.jp/stories/world/2015/10/post-3961.php

Basically the Chinese and Indonesia developed a joint venture between the SOE and Chinese companies that will be involved PRIOR to the bidding and made it mandate for these joint venture SOEs to handle all proceedings with no involvement of the Indonesian government.

Basically the bid was just for show.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The days when the Japanese won on price are ......gone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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