From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Value of Public Works Projects Up: The total value of public works projects ordered by national and local governments in March has increased 8.2% in the last year, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported, citing a Construction Ministry report. Japan's public construction sector has come under fire from the United States for its bidding procedures, which shut out foreign competition. The Construction Ministry will require bidders on public construction projects to submit detailed cost estimates and technical data in a bid to make the process clearer and more open to foreign bidders.

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