Clean It Isn't. Closed It Is

Pity the Japanese trade team. It must be rough arguing that Japan's construction market is clean and open when politicians and captains of the industry are being charged with bribery. The latest arrest: Teruzo Yoshino, 75, chairman of Shimizu. Yoshino is accused of bribing the governor of Ibaraki Prefecture $10 million for civil-works contracts. Despite the scandals, Japan continued to stall in the latest round of construction talks on Sept. 17-18. The U.S. is insisting that Japan adopt "objective criteria" such as foreign market share and has threatened to impose sanctions if there's no progress by Nov. 1.

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