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The draft fiscal 2001 budget presented Wednesday calls for reducing Japan’s official development assistance to developing countries while attempting to improve the efficiency of outlays.

The Finance Ministry’s draft budget for the year starting April 1 allocates 1.015 trillion yen for ODA, down 31.4 billion yen — just short of 3 percent — from the initial budget for the current fiscal year, which runs through the end of March.

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