Foreigner takes charge

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Foreigner takes charge

Keigo Nagase, a Japanese citizen, has become the first foreigner in Korea to head a construction project.
Mr. Nagase, 60, was recently appointed head of the construction of the Samsung Raemian apartment complex in Dongtan, Gyeonggi province, as part of his position as managing director for the Samsung Corp. construction and housing department.
“They wanted me to be in charge of this big project regardless of my nationality. Since Dongtan Raemian is going to be high-rise buildings that require advanced construction techniques and management skills, I feel honored,” said Mr. Nagase.
Foreigners have supervised construction projects in Korea before, but never at this level of responsibility.
Mr. Nagase brings experience as an engineer to the table, having worked 39 years with Taisei Construction, 17 of those as managing director.
“Language barriers don’t affect my ability to manage the construction process,” Mr. Nagase said confidently, adding that he wants to introduce a new process control technique to improve the building’s ventilation. He also plans to make the project accessible to the public.
Mr. Nagase finds time to visit his family in Japan five or six times a year. He hopes to show the Raemian buildings to his grandson when they are completed.
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