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HondaJet's resolve offers lesson as Mitsubishi's jet dreams fade

Confusion over personnel changes led to drastic scale-back of aircraft project

A Mitsubishi SpaceJet takes off from Nagoya Airport in Aichi Prefecture. Its maker, Mitsubishi Heavy, plans to slash the project's annual budget to just one-tenth of current levels. (Photo by Koji Uema)

TOKYO -- After years of twists and turns, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has decided to virtually freeze its project to develop Japan's first homegrown passenger jet aircraft.

Mitsubishi said on Thursday it was freezing its SpaceJet program, slashing the annual budget to just one-tenth of current levels over the next three years and foregoing a plan to obtain regulatory approval.

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