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Southeast Asia looks for outside help to flush sewage problems

Water treatment projects lure foreign expertise to deal with rising raw effluent

Indonesian fishermen work near pipes flushing sewage into the Porong River in the province of East Java.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Southeast Asia's growing industrial activity and rising population are spelling disaster to natural waterways, forcing nations in the region to ramp up spending on sewage projects to tackle the problem of poor water quality.

Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines are pouring vast sums into improving water resources, attracting sewage-plant construction companies from Japan and elsewhere, which hope their expertise will open doors to other ecologically minded infrastructure deals.

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