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The government on Friday held the first meeting of a special task force charged with revitalizing regional economies.

The task force, which consists of all Cabinet ministers and is headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is to work out measures to stimulate regional economies and create jobs in particular, government officials said.

The measures include entrusting counter work at local government facilities, such as public libraries, to private-sector firms and promoting life-science technology studies by colleges to help farmers, the officials said.

The government does not plan to put up any extra budget to cover these measures. They said it will try to promote coordination with ongoing deregulation-zone projects.

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