Remember the hoverboards from Back to the Future? Alright, this is just like that, except totally different. You see, both the hoverboards and these magnetic levitation (maglev) trains use magnetism to lift a few inches off the ground, or track, removing that nasty stumbling block of efficiency: friction. The results of this levitation are reduced power consumption from the drivetrain and faster speeds. Japan already has an efficient public transportation system with many high speed trains in operation, so it is certainly not shocking that they would be the first to bring maglev trains to the masses. According to this article, China currently has a small track using a maglev, but Japan will most likely be the first to use them in large numbers, traveling large distances.
[Source: Yahoo News]