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Japan was the top aid donor for six consecutive years through 1996 despite a huge drop in its official development assistance, the Foreign Ministry said June 19.

Japan’s ODA was $9.44 billion in 1996, down by 34.9 percent from the previous year, marking the top position among the 21 Development Assistance Committee members, according to the ministry. The United States was the second largest aid donor in 1996 at $9.06 billion, up by 23 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.

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