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State Foreign Secretary Nobutaka Machimura on Monday called for a review of Japan’s yen loans to other parts of Asia in a bid to implement them more effectively.

Machimura made the comments in his opening remarks at a four-day annual meeting of Japan’s Asia-Pacific ambassadors and representatives. “There are, frankly, doubts over how much the recipient nations and their general public welcome them (Japan’s loans),” Machimura told some 26 Japanese ambassadors and other regional representatives.

Machimura doubted whether massive amounts of yen loans extended to Asian countries have brought visible benefits to the people in those nations. In this sense, he said, “Technical assistance is showing better results.” The cost-effectiveness of yen loans will also be discussed during the meeting, he said.

Machimura also said Japan’s economic conditions may make it difficult for Tokyo to secure ample funds for such loans and that the Diet needs to speed up discussions of bills related to the reviewed Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines.

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