Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on July 8 outlined basic rules for fiscal 1998 budget requests that include three special spending brackets to channel 550 billion yen into key areas as well as roughly 240 billion yen in general expenditure cuts.

Hashimoto said at the day’s Cabinet meeting it is important to reduce the government deficit while ensuring that the necessary money is there to support reform of the nation’s economic structure. “Special adjustment measures” to direct funding toward such strategic sectors as environmental protection, scientific research and telecommunications will total 150 billion yen.

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