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Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said Friday he will retain Vice Finance Minister Toshiro Muto and Haruhiko Kuroda, vice finance minister for international affairs, in their posts for another year.

Shiokawa believes their expertise is necessary to advance the economic structural efforts of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, such as restricting new issuance of government bonds to below 30 trillion yen a year.

Muto has served for one year and Kuroda for two.

It is rare for a vice finance minister for international affairs, the top finance negotiator, to serve for three years.

Shiokawa said top bureaucrats have expertise that he does not have and that their experience should be utilized.

Zembei Mizoguchi will remain director general of the International Bureau.

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