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The government may be succumbing to strong domestic political pressure to make Draconian cuts in Japanese official development assistance. If you want evidence, keep a close watch on an upcoming gathering of Vietnam’s aid donors.

At an annual meeting of aid donors in Hanoi on Dec. 14-15, Japan will pledge fresh ODA worth between 70 billion yen and 80 billion yen for the Southeast Asian country, government sources said Friday.

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