Japan’s PM supports nuclear power, bullet train projects in Vietnam

Business Week, Mar 8, 2010. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama wrote a letter to Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Tan Dung to solicit an $ 11-billion nuclear power plant project.

Tokyo-based Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., and Toshiba Corp., which mounted a joint bid for the project, lost the Vietnam order to Russia’s state-run OAO Rosatom in Moscow, the Nikkei business daily reported on Feb. 9, without citing anyone. Spokesmen from the companies declined comment.

Hatoyama told parliament he would strive to work harder in promoting Japan, the world’s third-biggest nuclear power generator, and said the Vietnamese bid wasn’t lost.

“I think there’s still a good chance with the second phase” of the project, Hatoyama said in the Diet on March 3. “I regret the government’s sales efforts haven’t been good enough compared with other countries. I’ll work hard to be a top seller from now on.”

Hatoyama, 63, came into office pledging to raise the minimum wage and has proposed new restrictions on the hiring of temporary workers by manufacturers. The limits are opposed by the Tokyo-based Japan Business Federation, the country’s biggest business lobby. Polls show his administration is weighed down by scandals involving him and the party’s No. 2 official, Ichiro Ozawa.

Bullet Train

Vietnam may choose a group of Sumitomo Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy, or Itochu Corp. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. for a $ 56-billion project to build Southeast Asia’s first bullet train, Nguyen Huu Bang, chairman and chief executive officer of Vietnam Railways Corp., said in February.

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