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Japan should have sent a smaller delegation to the recently concluded World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Environment Minister Hiroshi Ohki said on Tuesday.

“I think Japan would have been better off with a more compact delegation,” Ohki told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. He said he plans to speak to Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi about streamlining future delegations in the name of efficiency.

The Environment Ministry spent more than 35 million yen on airfares and boarding for the ministry’s 48 delegates — roughly 730,000 yen on each.

In total, Japan sent 492 people — reportedly the largest delegation out of the more than 190 countries that participated.

Oki said the Japanese delegation worked hard and contributed to the success of the summit, held between Aug. 26 and Sept. 4.

He admitted, however, that the size of the delegation also led to poor communication during the conference.

Japan was also one of only two countries, the other being host country South Africa, to set up its own pavilion at a site where exhibitions and other events were held in parallel with the summit, the ministry said.

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