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The Ministry of International Trade and Industry will request 144 billion yen for measures to support small and midsize firms suffering from the ongoing credit crunch, ministry officials said Thursday.MITI said it will file the request today with the Finance Ministry in line with the government’s plan to form a third supplementary budget featuring a stimulus package worth 4 trillion yen. MITI’s total budgetary request amounts to 366.4 billion yen, according to the officials.With those funds, MITI hopes to implement policies to revive the nation’s industry, improve living standards, tackle the Year 2000 computer problem and help Japanese affiliates operating in Asia.The ministry plans to use 209.3 billion yen for measures to promote structural changes, that will help small firms enter new business fields, thereby creating new jobs.

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