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Major Japanese companies are trimming capital investment for the second year in a row, with spending in fiscal 1998 projected to fall 1.8 percent from the previous year, according to a recent survey.

The survey, released Thursday, was conducted by the public Japan Development Bank in early August on 3,258 companies capitalized at 1 billion yen or more, of which 87.8 percent responded.

According to the survey, aggregate investment in plants and equipment is projected at 28.53 trillion yen for the current fiscal year. Capital investment in fiscal 1997 fell 1.5 percent, the first decline in three years.

Spending by manufacturers is projected to fall 4.7 percent, the first decline in four years, as the electric machinery and paper-pulp industries plan to cut their spending sharply.

Spending by nonmanufacturers is forecast to edge down 0.3 percent for the second consecutive annual fall.

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