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The total amount of nonperforming loans held by the nation’s banks as of the end of September came to 28.08 trillion yen, a 178 billion yen increase over the figure reported at the end of March, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

It was the first increase in bad loans since the ministry began releasing the figures on a half-year basis in September 1995, ministry officials said. According to a ministry calculation, city banks, long-term credit and trust banks, regional banks and cooperative lenders need to write off a total of 4.35 trillion yen in unrecoverable loans.

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