The ambassadors of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on Oct. 2 asked Tokyo to reconsider its intention to cut official development assistance by 10 percent in fiscal 1998, particularly cuts in Tokyo’s voluntary disbursement to international organizations, a Foreign Ministry official said.The ambassadors made the request at a meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Shunji Yanai, saying they do not want to see cuts in Japanese aid in areas of development aid and humanitarian affairs, the official said. The ambassadors told Yanai that other countries might follow Japan’s move and also cut their voluntary disbursement, he said.The four nations are major contributors to international organizations such as the United Nations Development Program and the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, according to the official. The ministry plans to reduce by 10 percent the overall ODA budget, but disbursement to international organizations in fiscal 1998 will be cut by 22.3 percent.

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