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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Text of report by Kakumi Kobayashi, carried in English by Japanese news agency Kyodo
Tokyo, 20 December: The Finance Ministry proposed on Monday [20 December] a 3.8 per cent cut in Japanese foreign aid in fiscal 2005 for the sixth straight year of decrease in the initial budget amid Japan's continued tight finances. The ministry allocated 786.2bn yen (about 7.5bn dollars) for foreign aid, formally called official development assistance [ODA], in the draft budget for the next fiscal year starting 1 April, down from 816.9bn yen in the initial budget for the current fiscal year.
The ODA spending, which the …