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Osaka City to close overseas offices except in China

(Xinhua)

07:55, August 10, 2012

OSAKA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The western Japanese city of Osaka announced Thursday that it plans to close its overseas offices by the end of the year while reorganizing office operations in Shanghai, China to save costs.

According to the announcement, the city will close its office in Paris, France on August 31, and then two other offices in Singapore on October 15 and Chicago, the United States on November 30.

But the city said its Shanghai desk will remain at the same place, combining its function with the Shanghai office of Osaka Prefecture from the next year. The city's decision is expected to cut expenditures by around 161 million yen (about 2 million U.S. dollars) per year.

At a press conference held on Thursday, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said "we no longer have to keep overseas offices which are directly run by the city government itself although the city will not weaken relationships with other countries."

At the same time, Hashimoto stressed the need for the Shanghai Office. "Considering economic relations with China, it is quite important for the city to continue to have the office in China where official relationship is highly respected," he said.

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