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Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka and other ministry officials Monday attempted to underplay the fact that the failure of Hokkaido Takushoku runs counter to the ministry’s oft-repeated pledge that the nation’s top 20 banks would not be allowed to fail.

At a morning news conference, Mitsuzuka said Hokkaido Takushoku Bank’s depositors will be fully protected and its fall will not have a major effect on domestic or international financial markets.

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