OSAKA — A delegation of U.S. construction company executives will travel to Nagoya and possibly the Kansai region in early June in order to press for U.S. access to airport construction projects, according to U.S. Ambassador Tom Foley.

The delegation will travel to Nagoya on June 11 and will meet with local airport authorities. Plans are in the works for Chubu International Airport, a new international airport, to be built near Nagoya.

In addition, the construction company executives and U.S. consulate officials in Osaka will meet with Kansai International Airport authorities June 12 to present their case for U.S. participation in the second phase of construction at the Osaka Bay airport, scheduled to begin next year.

Foley said he will be leading the group to Nagoya and the Kansai region, but consulate officials in both Nagoya and Osaka say his participation is not confirmed. Participation of U.S. firms in Japan’s public works projects became a major trade issue between the two countries after U.S. companies were locked out of construction bids for Kansai International Airport in the mid-1980s.

Foley said last week that he wants to show his support for U.S. businesses trying to enter the Japanese market, an area where some American business community members have accused him of being soft. “I promised I’d be the first commercial officer-in-chief and I’m going to be,” Foley said.

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