The government will review its official development assistance when compiling the fiscal 2002 budget, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday.

“There are many points that should be reviewed,” Koizumi told a House of Councilors Budget Committee session. “(The funds) should reflect the question of whether they are wanted by recipient countries, and whether they are necessary from an international point of view.”

Also in the session, Koizumi reiterated that he will make a controversial state visit to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, a war memorial, on Aug. 15, the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

China and South Korea expressed concern over the plan in foreign ministerial meetings in Beijing last week.

“If China and South Korea find that unpleasant, I will try to allay their concerns and improve relations with the two countries,” Koizumi said.

The shrine honors about 2.5 million Japanese who died in wars since the mid-19th century, including seven hanged war criminals.

Wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo is among those honored.

Koizumi also reiterated that he is not considering an early House of Representatives election to coincide with July’s Upper House poll.

“The right to dissolve the Lower House is an issue that is entrusted to the prime minister, and it should not be dealt with lightly,” he said.

“I am not thinking at all about calling a double election.”

Despite Koizumi’s repeated denials, his popularity is triggering speculation that he may opt for a dual election.

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