The Defense Agency will tighten its purse strings and try to save 100 billion yen in its procurement of defense equipment over the next three fiscal years, agency officials said Wednesday.

The decision was made in an attempt to sweep away public distrust of the agency’s procurement system after a series of procurement overcharging scandals came to light earlier this year, the officials said.

In fiscal 1999, which begins next April, the agency will reduce by a uniform 4 percent from fiscal 1997 levels the purchasing cost of defense equipment manufactured by agency contractors in noncompetitive deals, they said.

The agency will further increase the cutback to 7 percent in fiscal 2000 and to 10 percent in fiscal 2001, compared to fiscal 1997 payments, they said.

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