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High oil prices have forced the Defense Agency to scale back on the size of the Self-Defense Forces’ naval review in late October, an official said Saturday.

The reduction in aircraft and vessels will be the first due to fuel-saving measures since the review was canceled altogether during the oil crises of the 1970s.

The agency has not disclosed how much it pays for fuel, citing a potential impact on competitive bids.

For its 2006 budget, it estimated that fuel costs for SDF operations would increase about 40 percent from a year earlier.

However, fuel costs have already outstripped the agency’s estimate, the official said.

The number of warships and other vessels participating in the review will be around 45, down from about 55 in the initial plans. P-3C patrol planes and other aircraft will be lowered to around 35 from some 45.

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