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Letter from Tokyo

The cultured American who cannot compete with Japan's construction industry

By Anthony Head   January 1998

First it was the crawl home from the airport through concrete blocks sprawling to every horizon, then came the convoy of nationalists blitzing the neighbourhood from loudspeaker vans. Finally came the evening’s news headlines about another minister resigning over some obscure corruption scandal.

But it was when I saw the late night roadworks outside my flat-the hole in the road, the floodlights towering above it, the construction workers with luminous wands waving through the cars-that it truly registered: I was back in Japan.

And I was back just in time to witness the televised sobs of Shohei Nozawa, the president…

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