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Japan announced a new three-year Mekong aid plan Saturday at the Japan-Mekong Summit to promote stability and growth in the region, and counter China’s growing political and economic clout in Southeast Asia.

“Japan will commit about ¥750 billion in official development assistance over the next three years,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a news conference attended by the leaders of the five countries that make up the area. “Japan is a partner for the development of the Mekong region, which has future potential.”

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