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Sinking under debt, Kansai airport privatisation presents big test for Abe

Tokyo

AFTER building an artificial island off Osaka to host a gleaming new airport in 1994, officials discovered it was sinking into the sea.

More than 20 years later, the high-stakes deal to privatise Kansai International Airport could be at risk of a similar fate - an embarrassing setback in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to attract investments and cut its massive debt.

The problem: the government agency running the bid refuses to budge on an US$18 billion price tag that makes Kansai six times...

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