An expert panel of the Environment Ministry on Wednesday approved a proposal calling for machinery maker Kubota Corp. and others to contribute a total of 340 million yen a year to the private-sector’s share in the new compensation law for asbestos victims.

The sum is part of the total 7.4 billion yen the ministry plans to collect to fund the law that went into effect in March.

Other than Kubota, Nichias Corp. and a few others are expected to be in a special category of firms meeting certain conditions, including having high death rates from mesothelioma and other asbestos-induced health problems.

The government will collect the proposed sum for four years from fiscal 2007, and will revise the amount as required in accordance with the review of the compensation system.

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