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Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto introduced plans Friday for a new system of review for public works projects designed to reduce government spending and suspend or terminate projects that no longer meet public needs, government officials said.

Hashimoto announced the plan at a morning meeting with Cabinet ministers in charge of public works, including Construction Minister Tsutomu Kawara and Transport Minister Takao Fujii, at his official residence. The move comes after widespread criticism of a number of dam construction and other public works projects that were launched more than a decade ago and have outlasted their original objectives.

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