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For the fifth straight year, the government will probably be forced to issue the deficit-covering bonds that have helped drive the nation into fiscal crisis, a senior Finance Ministry official indicated August 28.

According to an estimate by the ministry released the same day, requests for the fiscal 1998 general account budget compiled by individual government ministries and agencies will total roughly 80.55 trillion yen, up 4.1 percent from the budget of the current fiscal year.

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