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The government will freeze 48 of 56 dam construction projects across the nation this fiscal year after land minister Seiji Maehara on Friday ruled out signing contracts on land purchases or construction related to the schemes.

The 48 dam projects Maehara referred to are undertaken by the government either alone or together with the Japan Water Agency, a state-run body tasked with securing a stable supply of water for industrial development and major urban areas.

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