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Construction orders received by Japan’s 64 major contractors in fiscal 2000 fell 6 percent from the previous 12 months to 15.37 trillion yen, the Japan Federation of Construction Contractors Inc. said Thursday.

It is the fourth consecutive year of decline, and the total value represents only 55 percent of the record posted in fiscal 1990.

According to the federation, the drop in orders from both the public and the private sectors was particularly evident in the January-March quarter.

In fiscal 2000, orders from the private sector fell 5.7 percent to 9.825 trillion yen, while those from the public sector sagged 9.9 percent to 4.785 trillion yen. It is the first time in 12 years that orders from the public sector have fallen below the 5 trillion yen mark.

Orders from the central government dropped 12.2 percent, those from prefectural governments fell by 14.3 percent and those from municipal governments plunged 11.4 percent.

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