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Fifth delay in Mitsubishi jet delivery -- it's official, almost

Group chief speaks of challenges facing Japan's first homegrown jet

TOKYO -- Work on the first homegrown Japanese commercial jetliner has suffered a series of setbacks, with delivery certain to be delayed a fifth time.

Shunichi Miyanaga, president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, recently told media outlets including The Nikkei that the group "is carefully reviewing the delivery time" for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet under development by group member Mitsubishi Aircraft. His remark effectively confirmed yet another delay.

"I'll be able to talk about the results of the review in January," Miyanaga said.

Mitsubishi Heavy President Shunichi Miyanaga

The MRJ is supposed to be delivered in mid-2018. The focus is now on whether this time frame needs revision. The Mitsubishi group has been carrying out test flights to obtain a type certificate from the transport ministry.

Miyanaga also talked about the government's decision to scrap the Monju prototype fast breeder nuclear reactor. Japan nevertheless plans to continue work on such reactors, and Miyanaga expressed a desire for his company to play a key role in developing them and related technologies.

"My understanding is that effort will continue to go into core technologies," Miyanaga said, adding that "we will grow technologies that do not pale in comparison" to others in the world.

Under Miyanaga, Mitsubishi Heavy is trying to bring a sharper focus to operations. "We have to do a lot more" when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, he said.

(Nikkei)

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