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All of Japan’s 89 national universities except one posted a combined gross profit of about 110 billion yen in fiscal 2004, with Osaka University at the top pf the heap with 7.1 billion yen in earnings, the government said Tuesday.

But the bulk of the 110 billion yen profit resulted from special factors, with only 5.4 billion yen from cost-cutting and other management improvement efforts, according to data compiled by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.

Osaka University was followed by the University of Tokyo with 7 billion yen and Kyushu University with 6.3 billion yen, while Gifu University was the only one to fall into the red with a loss of 1.3 billion yen.

Gifu University said the loss was due to an increase in depreciation costs related to the construction of a new hospital.

In fiscal 2004, the government gave national universities corporate status in an effort to make their management more efficient.

Starting with the March 2005 end of last fiscal year, national universities were required to close their books under standards similar to corporate accounting rules. They have to present documents such as profit and loss statements as well as balance sheets.

The schools can book uncollected tuition fees and the value of medicines stored at affiliated hospitals as part of their gross profits.

According to the ministry, the big profit gainers were large universities who could receive outside funding for consignment research and those with profitable hospitals.

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