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The Democratic Party of Japan on Wednesday unveiled a draft budget for fiscal 2003 that it says would generate 1 million more jobs than the budget being debated in the Diet.

The nation’s largest opposition party said its budget would allocate 8.8 trillion yen more than the government’s budget does to such areas as welfare and education, while reducing outlays for such things as public works projects by 3.6 billion yen.

This is the first time that the DPJ has complied its own draft budget. The party plans to use it as leverage in parliamentary debates.

In the draft, the DPJ also said it would transform 15.84 trillion yen in specific grants for local government projects into “lump-sum grants” that can be used in any way by the local government.

DPJ policy chief Yukio Edano said introducing such blanket grants would save the national government 3.2 trillion yen in fiscal 2003. It would also offset cuts in public works projects by making the ordering process — often clouded by collusion between some politicians and special interest groups — more transparent, he added.

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