Two Japanese Firms Banned for Collapsed Bridge

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Jul. 22 – Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has banned the Japanese firms, Taisei and Kajima, from construction projects in the country for a year because of the collapsed Can Tho Bridge that killed and injured many.

The head of the quality control department at the Ministry of Transport, Tran Quoc Viet, told Thanh Nien News by telephone that: “This is punishment to the Japanese companies for their involvement in the construction of the Can Tho Bridge that collapsed.”

The bridge was located 131 kilometers of Ho Chi Minh City and build over a river between Can Tho City and Vinh Long province. It collapsed in September 2007 and left more than 117 people seriously injured.

According to a report made by the Minister of Construction Nguyen Hong Quan in 2008,  the collapse was caused by a weakness in two concrete supports that were made by Japanese firms although it did not name which ones.

The spokesman for Taisei, Yasukiyo Saito, confirmed that the company received a notice last June 20 banning it from building bridges and roads beginning June 30. A spokesman for Kajima also verified that the company received the same notification.

Japan is one of the top foreign investors in Vietnam contributing US$616 million worth of investments last year. In the first half of the year, it invested in US$93.7 million worth of projects, based on figures released by the General Statistics Office.