Japanese Largess Timed For The Summit

The Japanese government will announce a five-year, $125 billion foreign-assistance package on the eve of July's economic summit. U.S. sources tell BUSINESS WEEK that $50 billion of the money will be in the form of export credits, with the rest--$15 billion a year--going as direct aid. The U.S., by comparison, provides $9 billion a year in foreign aid. The enormous package is Japan's way of telling the world that it is ready to be a global player. It also deflects some heat Tokyo is taking from industrial partners for running up a $110 billion trade surplus. But Japan's largesse will not extend to Russia. The Japanese are miffed by Russian diplomatic slights.

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