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DPJ panel seeks 40% cut in number of administrative bodies.

TOKYO, Jan. 19 Kyodo

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan's administration reform panel compiled plans Thursday to reduce the number of special budget accounts to 11 from 17 and of ''independent'' administrative institutions to 65 or fewer from the current 102, or by roughly 40 percent.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expected to approve the plans after the Government Revitalization Unit discusses them at a meeting later Thursday, and to submit relevant legislation to a regular session of parliament convening next Tuesday.

The Noda government hopes to use the proposals to help win public backing for its proposed social security and tax reform, which includes a contentious plan to increase the country's consumption tax rate.

The administrative reform plans, adopted at a general assembly of the party panel, particularly call for the abolishment of a special budget account for infrastructure development in March 2013 because it is symbolic of the DPJ pledge to steer the country's focus toward people from concrete.

The panel led by former education minister Masaharu Nakagawa, also seeks the sale of government-held stocks and the reduction of public apartments for civil servants to help finance the debt-laden state coffers.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jan 23, 2012
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