Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and his Conference on Fiscal Structural Reform on Sept. 17 endorsed a draft bill that would oblige the government to reduce key expenditures to achieve its self-imposed fiscal reform targets by fiscal 2003.

The bill, which is to be submitted to the fall extraordinary Diet session, outlines spending limits for specific outlays for the years leading up to fiscal 2003, by which time the combined fiscal deficit of the central and local governments is to be pared to 3 percent or less of gross domestic product.

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