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Algeria has failed to pay part of highway construction costs to a consortium of five Japanese companies and Tokyo intends to deal with the matter through diplomatic channels, transport minister Sumio Mabuchi said Friday.

Mabuchi did not unveil the amount outstanding, but the construction industry puts the estimate at more than ¥100 billion of the ¥540 billion order.

The Algerian Public Works Ministry’s National Highway Agency, which placed the order in 2006, has refused to pay for reasons including a delay in the construction work and alterations to the original design, industry sources said.

Mabuchi told a news conference that the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry would share its information with the Foreign Ministry and ask the Algerian government through diplomatic channels to reach a solution.

The order for the consortium of major contractors Kajima Corp., Taisei Corp., Nishimatsu Construction Co. and Hazama Corp., plus trading house Itochu Corp., is for the 400-km eastern section of a 1,200-km highway.

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