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December 20, 2017

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Home » Business » Transport

Firms raided in probe on bid rigging

PROSECUTORS have raided the headquarters of four of Japan's biggest construction companies, investigating alleged collusion on bids for a multibillion dollar maglev railway that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has backed as a showcase project.

TV news reports yesterday showed dark-suited investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office heading into the headquarters of Taisei Corp and Obayashi Corp, two of four companies targeted in the probe.

Shimizu Corp and Kajima Corp, the two others, issued statements yesterday acknowledging the raids.

Obayashi responded to a request for comment on reports it had admitted to the bid rigging by saying the company could not give further details because it was under investigation.

All the contractors have promised to cooperate fully with the investigation into the alleged violations of anti-trust laws. Reports said prosecutors are looking into alleged “obstruction of business” because the contracts for the line, called the Linear Chuo Shinkansen, are for private sector, not public contracts.

The US$80 billion magnetic levitation, or maglev, railway between Tokyo and the central Japanese city of Nagoya is a decades-long project that is set to cut travel time between the two cities to 40 minutes from the current 100 minutes once it opens in 2027.


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