KUALA LUMPUR-- Japan stands a good chance of winning the tender for the Kuala Lumpur�Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) project, despite an expected strong competition from its closest rival, China.

In an interview with local business radio station, BFM, on Wednesday, Japan's Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Makio Miyagawa said the country was offering its best HSR proposal and technology to both Malaysia and Singapore.

Citing the Shinkansen, he said the longest serving HSR system in the country had not experienced any fatal accidents, since starting operations in 1964.

The system is also in the process of being adopted by India, Thailand and the United States, while already operational in Taiwan, he added.

Miyagawa said Japan had no intention of monopolising the benefits arising from the establishment of the KL-SG HSR.

Japanese industry players are very happy to cooperate with their Malaysian peers, to ensure the project benefits both parties.

We would also like to intensify human capital development alongside the transfer of technology to Malaysia and Singapore, and as this also enhances our chances of winning the bid for the KL-SG HSR, he added.

Last November, MYHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd, called for the tender to appoint the project delivery partner for the 350-km project.

Estimated to cost between RM50 billion-RM60 billion, the KL-SG HSR is projected to start operations around 2026.

As for the third Mass Rapid Transit (MRT3) project which is estimated at between RM35 billion-RM40 billion, Miyagawa said Japan's industry players were currently studying it.

We feel this is a very important infrastructure venture for Malaysia to avoid the middle-income trap, as well as, reduce the problems of traffic jams and energy consumption, he said.

The tender for the MRT3 was opened to both local and foreign firms in November last year and the 40km Circle Line is expected to be completed by 2025.

On the halal sector, Miyagawa said it was necessary for Japan to have good input and investments from Malaysia to be more Muslim-friendly ahead of 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.

This is one area of cooperation suggested by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to our Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe during the former's visit to Japan in 2016.

Malaysia has offered to become the halal industry adviser to Japan and both governments have been working very closely on this segment, he said.