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Fear of waning construction demand likely behind maglev bid-fixing

Tokyo-Nagoya high-speed rail to proceed as planned, says JR Tokai

Prosecutors and other investigators enter the Tokyo headquarters of general contractor Shimizu on Dec. 18. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- The four Japanese general contractors believed to have rigged bids for work on a major high-speed rail project probably were trying to lock in orders before demand fades following the 2020 Olympics here.

On Monday, the Japan Fair Trade Commission and special investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office raided the offices of Kajima and Shimizu for alleged antitrust violations. Those companies, plus peers Obayashi and Taisei, are suspected of colluding to win bids and parcel them out among themselves.

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