The home affairs ministry ordered the Defense Agency on Friday to have its affiliate cut application fees levied on local residents seeking grants to soundproof their homes near military installations.

The Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said there are no grounds for the current rate charged by the agency, calling for a radical review of the system.

It added that these fees should be lowered in light of the fact that the semipublic firm had a surplus of 500 million yen in fiscal 2002.

The affiliate in question, the Defense Facilities Environment Improvement Association, charges applicants 6.5 percent of the soundproofing costs, capped at 84,000 yen.

Almost all individuals have been compelled to apply through the association and to pay this fee.

Eligible applicants include those who have offices or homes near Self-Defense Forces installations and U.S. bases.

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