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Japan's builders fighting expected labor shortages with faster payment terms

Strengthening subcontractor relationships to take on more projects

TOKYO -- Japan's builders are fighting expected labor shortages by speeding up payments to subcontractors, hoping stronger relationships will help them gain access to a steady flow of workers.

Changes to payment terms are spreading across the industry. Japan's top 10 general contractors on a sales basis reduced the time taken to pay accounts payable to an average of 101 days in the April-June quarter, down 22 days over the past five years. Time taken on a full-year basis is also declining, coming to an average of 98 days in the year ended March 2017.

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