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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday basically approved the Finance Ministry’s final draft of the budget request framework for fiscal 2003. The plan calls for a 2 percent cut in discretionary spending, which includes overseas aid, and a 3 percent reduction in public works outlays.

Koizumi gave the nod to the plan in a meeting with the ministry’s top bureaucrats at his office in the morning, ministry officials said.

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