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International Outlook: Global Wrapup
AN UNTIMELY EXIT FROM JAPAN
The Cleveland-based design and engineering company Austin Co. has closed its Tokyo office, possibly hurting the U.S. effort to pry open the protected Japanese construction market. Austin, one of the pioneers in Japan, says that it is responding to a poor business climate for American companies but will continue to pursue Japanese projects. Still, the move could strengthen the Japanese government's argument that U.S. companies lack commitment.EDITED BY STANLEY REED