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Japan restarts maglev rail tests

TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**TV TOKYO - NO ACCESS JAPAN/CLEARED FOR INTERNET USE, EXCEPT BY JAPANESE WEBSITES / BBC WORLD, CNNI, NBC, CNBC MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'TV TOKYO' IF PICTURES TO BE SHOWN ON CABLE, COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE IN JAPAN. This is the first test of Japan's experimental magnetic levitation train in two years. The test track's been doubled in length to nearly 43 kilometres. Its developers say the design's also been upgraded for better aerodynamics and cabin space. The train, which floats above the track on magnets, is intended to travel at up to 581 kilometres an hour. Japan's transport minister was among the guests at a ceremony marking the start of the latest tests on Thursday. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE TRANSPORT MINISTER AKIHIRO OTA SAYING: "This train reminds us of how proud we are as a technology powerhouse and gives us great hopes for the future." The train's due to go into service in 2027 at a cost of more than

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