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In a remark that may be taken as a step backward, Koko Sato, the newly appointed director general of the Management and Coordination Agency, said Sept. 12 that the government’s final administrative streamlining plan may be late.

“The plan should be worked out by close consultation between the Administrative Reform Council and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its allies,” said Sato, who on Sept. 11 became the minister in charge of administrative reform. “We should place importance on the process of their discussion. So it seems to be very difficult to compile the final report by the end of November (when the report is due),” he said.

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