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Japan returns as top investor in Vietnam

South Korea is pushed aside as trading houses land big projects

Marubeni will build a coal plant in Nghi Son, Thanh Hoa Province.

HANOI -- Japan became Vietnam's biggest foreign direct investor in 2017, reclaiming the crown from South Korea after a three-year gap.

Foreign direct investment in the Southeast Asian nation jumped 44.4% on the year to $35.8 billion, according to government statistics up to Dec. 20. Japanese investment more than tripled to a record $9.11 billion, accounting for a quarter of the total. Infrastructure exports were a major driver of Japanese spending.

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