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Japan Likely to Phase Out Development Aid to China, Foreign Minister says

Japan's foreign minister says Tokyo will likely phase out development aid to China in light of Beijing's developing economy.

Nobutaka Machimura told Japanese lawmakers Friday that it is appropriate for China to, "graduate" from official development assistance in the near future.

Japan's foreign ministry says Japanese aid to China has fallen by half since 2000.

The comments come amid growing tensions between Japan and China. China has been angered over Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to a controversial Tokyo war shrine, while Japan recently protested a Chinese submarine's intrusion into Japanese waters.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.