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Taiheiyo Coal Mining Co., owner of one of Japan’s two major coal mines, launched a three-month training program for 60 Vietnamese engineers Wednesday as part of a five-year project to transfer Japan’s mining technology to other countries.

“We want you to learn our accumulated expertise,” Takayuki Ikeda, president of the company, said in an opening ceremony.

The training program will run until Dec. 1 at both the Taiheiyo coal mine and the Ikeshima coal mine in Sotome, Nagasaki Prefecture, which is run by Matsushima Coal Mining Co.

The two mines have been chosen as bases for the national project, to be fully launched next April with the aim of providing mining technology to coal-producing nations to help Japan secure a stable coal supply.

The training program provides Taiheiyo Coal Mining a chance to survive in a tenuous business environment, as state protection of the declining industry ends March 31.

Under the temporary legislation that expires at that time, Japanese power companies are required to purchase their coal from the remaining two coal mines. Domestic coal is around three times more expensive than imported coal.

The company fell into the red in the fiscal year that ended March 30 after being hit by a coal mine fire in February.

Manh decries ODA cut

HANOI (Kyodo) Taku Yamasaki, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, on Tuesday held talks here with Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh as part of a nine-day tour of five Southeast Asian countries.

During the talks, Manh told Yamasaki he hoped Japan would not reduce its official development assistance to Vietnam as part of its fiscal reconstruction.

Japan’s ODA is expected to play a key role in Vietnam’s plan to double its gross domestic product by 2010, Manh added.

In response, Yamasaki requested that the development assistance money be used efficiently.

On Aug. 9, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy decided on 10 percent cuts in ODA, public works projects and general policy expenditures as part of ceilings for budgetary requests by ministries and agencies for fiscal 2002.

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