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William Pesek: Japan's latest bid-rigging scandal reveals how little has changed

Five years into Abenomics, the prime minister's reform credentials take a hit

Investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office make their way to the head office of Taisei in Tokyo on Dec.19. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

Wondering how Abenomics is doing five years on? You could plow through reams of data and charts. Or peruse investment bank reports and speeches by Bank of Japan officials. But the best insights may come from the nation's teeming construction sites, where you will find ample reason for disappointment.

On the surface, the frenetic bulldozing and hammering is contributing to the best run of growth in 16 years. Below ground is a bid-rigging scandal involving Obayashi and other big companies that is dousing optimism about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's progress in revitalizing the economy.

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