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JAPAN TO UNVEIL PROPOSALS TO HELP U.S. BEAR GULF COSTS

JAPAN TO UNVEIL PROPOSALS TO HELP U.S. BEAR GULF COSTS

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The Japanese government has told the Bush administration it plans to unveil next week a series of proposals to help the United States bear the huge costs of the American military operations in the Persian Gulf, sources said Thursday.

The package will be aimed at heading off growing criticism in the United States that Japan - and other U.S. allies - are benefiting from the U.S. troop deployment but not paying enough to offset the costs to the American economy.According to both U.S. and Japanese sources, Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu's government will probably announce an increase in the ``host-nation' support it pays to the United States for the costs of American military facilities in Japan.

Japan is also likely to announce a package of economic aid for America's strategic allies in the Mideast, such as Egypt and Turkey, the sources said. There were no estimates Thursday of exactly how much Japan will spend. By current estimates, the United States will spend an extra $1.5 billion before October for the military buildup even if no shots are fired.

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