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In its attempt to formulate a budget with the dual and dueling purposes of bringing about an economic recovery and preparing for painstaking reform, it seems the government has managed to do neither.

According to economists, the Finance Ministry’s proposal of an 82.65 trillion yen general-account budget for fiscal 2001 directs few funds toward needed structural reforms and appears for the most part to be a conventional spend-spend package focused around public works.

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