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Friday, 28th March 2008
In Business In Japan,

Plans confirmed to develop Japanese passenger plane

Proposals have been confirmed for the development of a domestically produced Japanese passenger aircraft.

With development costs confirmed at £500 million, the new craft is to be created by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and is expected to carry sufficient seating for between 70 and 90 passengers.

The country's Nippon Airlines has already placed orders for 25 planes.

"In terms of the macro picture, demand is there for this type of jet. Money-losing regional routes could turn profitable by using them," said Yuichi Ishida, a senior analyst at Investors Securities, in a report by the Guardian.

"But the real question is whether there is room left in this market for Mitsubishi Heavy."

Dubbed the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the company plans to have planes ready for use by 2013 and expects to be able to target the medium and short-haul sector with its creation.

Among the company's other products is Wakamaru, a yellow communications robot.

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