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Japan's Imabari built it, but will orders come?

Shipbuilder completes new dock, decries unfair advantage of state-run Asian rivals

Imabari Shipbuilding's new dry dock is big enough for the world's largest containerships.

TOKYO -- Having just constructed Japan's first new dry dock in 17 years, Imabari Shipbuilding should be brimming with excitement. But its chief instead is cautious as to whether the leading Japanese shipbuilder will be able to make the most of the new facility.

With the new dock, the company will be able to handle orders for multiple units of ultralarge vessels, President Yukito Higaki said Tuesday in a news conference to mark the occasion. The company is finally in a place where it can compete internationally, he said.

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