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Japan and Belgium signed a pact Thursday ending the double payment of social security premiums by their citizens.

Under the agreement, scheduled to take effect in 2006, Japanese and Belgians who stay in each other’s country for up to five years will not be required to pay public pension or medical insurance premiums to the local government.

The accord is expected to save about 4 billion yen in annual payments for about 1,500 workers posted in Belgium by some 220 Japanese companies or their affiliates, government officials said.

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