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A new division will be set up in the prime minister’s office to formulate Japan’s assistance plan for Afghanistan, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said Sunday.

The division will be responsible for hammering out the five-year, $5 billion civilian aid plan Japan pledged to Afghanistan last November, Fukuyama said on a TV program.

Fukuyama said the division is based on an initiative set forth by Prime Minister Naoto Kan and will also enhance Japanese cooperation with the United States.

Government sources said Fukuyama will head the new division, which will consult closely with the Japan International Cooperation Agency as well as experts, nonprofit organizations and other related entities.

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