Japanese envoy takes MRT-3 ride to get a feel of rail improvements funded by his country
MANILA, Philippines—Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa on Friday (Jan. 8) took a ride on a train of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) for the first time to generate good reviews for a rehabilitation project being funded by his government.
The ambassador visited the site of the Japanese government-funded MRT 3 rehabilitation project with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and other Philippine officials.
“All aboard the newly-rehabilitated MRT-3 with @DOTrPH Sec. Tugade. Kudos to the MRT-3 workers for their great efforts! Hope this strong 🇯🇵&🇵🇭 partnership will result in safe and punctual transport services and make you set the alarm clock 30 min. later every morning!” Koshikawa said on Twitter.
In a separate statement, the Japanese embassy said health protocols for COVID-19 were observed during the ambassador’s train trip.
The embassy said Koshikawa “expressed enthusiasm over the MRT-3’s improved train speed resulting from rail replacement works, which were part of the line’s massive rehabilitation program” carried out by the Japanese company Sumitomo Corp.-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Koshikawa, the embassy added, “also affirmed Japan’s commitment to bring development to the people of the Philippines” through “quality infrastructure assistance.”
The ambassador “hopes to see more partnerships like this in the future especially as Japan and the Philippines celebrate 65 years of friendship in 2021,” the embassy said.
The ambassador’s visit included a tour of the storage area and rolling stock section where overhauling of trains are being done.
The rehabilitation of MRT-3 began in April 2019 after the Philippines and Japan signed a loan agreement in 2018.
After the repairs, which were finished in late 2020, the MRT-3 started running twice faster at 60 km per hour, cutting down the average waiting time to 3.5 to 4 minutes from the previous 8 to 9.5 minutes.
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