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Japan's Shimizu admits to rigging maglev bids

General contractor follows Obayashi in seeking gentler punishment for collusion

Investigators raid Shimizu's headquarters in Tokyo on Dec. 18. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- Japanese general contractor Shimizu appears to have owned up by Monday's deadline to fixing bids on construction projects connected to a magnetic-levitation train line, seeking lighter fines after initially denying wrongdoing.

It joined peer Obayashi, which last month confessed to the Japan Fair Trade Commission that it colluded to share information and divide up projects connected to the under-construction Tokyo-Nagoya line, known as the Linear Chuo Shinkansen. Investigations by the watchdog and the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office are ongoing.

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