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The Cabinet on Thursday approved the final version of the government’s general investment and loan program for fiscal 1998, which accounts for a total 36.66 trillion yen, down 6.8 percent from the current year.

Even after budget restoration talks between ministers, the program still marks the largest year-on-year decline in its 43-year history, in line with the government’s policy of slimming the de facto second budget. The general investment and loan program is the core part of the overall fiscal investment and loan program, popularly known as “zaito,” totaling 49.96 trillion yen for fiscal 1998, down 2.7 percent from the current year.

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