A two-day international conference on development will open July 24 in Okinawa Prefecture to seek out and promote more effective forms of development assistance.

About 50 people from 37 countries and five international organizations, including the U.N. Development Program, will participate, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Since the end of the Cold War, the international community has been searching for new approaches to development assistance as cooperation between industrialized and developing countries began to rise. New approaches also would be helpful for Japan, which is reducing its budget for official development assistance as part of fiscal austerity measures.

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