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A Cabinet Office survey released Tuesday reveals that 79.2 percent of local governments and municipalities have not started preparations to implement private finance initiative projects.

Only 14.9 percent said they have begun preparatory measures, such as the creation of a division in charge of PFI projects.

The remainder declined to say whether they have begun preparations.

A total of 3,300 municipal governments throughout the country were surveyed by the Cabinet Office, with 2,700 responding by early March.

Among the respondents, 71.7 percent said the introduction of PFI projects has not gone well due to a lack of awareness of the importance of such projects on the part of local administrators.

PFI projects involve the construction and management of public facilities and industrial infrastructure with private-sector finance to complement the ability of cash-strapped national and local governments to implement public works projects.

Businesses joining PFI projects profit in the form of cash flows generated by public facilities and infrastructure.

The administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has championed the active use of PFI projects so that Japan can proceed with public works projects without further straining national and municipal coffers.

Asked whether they intend to push PFI projects in the coming years, 21.5 percent of local governments said they would like to “consider implementing PFI projects in a forward-looking manner.”

But the poll showed that 74.2 percent said they “want to sit on the fence for the time being” to monitor the development of PFI projects.

The Cabinet Office also asked local governments ready to “consider” PFI projects what fields they would use them in; respondents were allowed to specify multiple sectors.

The poll showed 41.5 percent said they want to apply PFI funding to construction and management of schools and other educational or cultural facilities.

Twenty-nine percent said they want to apply PFI schemes to the construction of publicly funded housing, 28.8 percent said welfare facilities, 28.3 percent tourism facilities and 24 percent construction of local government office buildings.

The larger the size of a local government, the more actively it is proceeding with or preparing to implement PFI projects, the poll indicated.

It showed that 38.5 percent of municipalities with populations of 300,000 or more have already begun implementing or are considering implementing PFI projects.

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