Whatever happened to the $10 billion in ''foreign aid'' that the Japanese were going to give to the United States?
The plan, announced last February, is still around - and rapidly moving forward - although details are being kept hush-hush for another month or so. According to the US-Asia Institute, which is coordinating the ''Partners in Progress Fund,'' hundreds of proposals have been received from groups in almost every state in the union. Project ideas are judged on their merit in creating permanent jobs for Americans and in promoting US-Japan trade relations.
No official figure has been given on how much money will be made available through the fund, which essentially involves opening access to the Japanese capital market, where interest rates normally run 9 to 10 percent below the US prime rate.
''It's very difficult to say'' how many proposals will be funded, says one insider, who adds, ''My feeling is that it will be an ongoing project.''