The Foreign Ministry will reduce its disbursements to international organizations in fiscal 1998 by 22.3 percent from the current fiscal year while it increases spending on tightening security at Japan’s overseas establishments, the ministry said August 29 in its budget request for the next fiscal year.

The ministry said that disbursements to international organizations will be reduced by 16.2 billion yen to 56.6 billion yen in fiscal 1998. The reduction will partly be achieved by abolishing voluntary aid to about 30 international organizations.

In addition, the ministry will substantially reduce voluntary aid to such major organizations as the United Nations’ Development Program and the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. The ministry’s request for official development assistance totals 526.58 billion yen, down 10 percent from fiscal 1997. It is in line with the government’s policy to cut ODA by 10 percent to reduce the nation’s fiscal deficit.

Grant-in-aid will be cut by 11.8 percent to 232.3 billion yen in fiscal 1998, and disbursements to the Japan International Cooperation Agency will be reduced by 7.3 percent to 166.4 billion yen, according to the ministry. The ministry’s total budgetary request for fiscal 1998, including ODA, is 719.94 billion yen, down 7.1 percent from fiscal 1997.

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