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The 77.67 trillion yen fiscal 1998 state budget cleared the Lower House late March 20 and moved on to the Upper House with no amendments, allowing Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to clear a major political hurdle.

The Lower House Budget Committee approved the budget at 7:35 p.m. A plenary session late March 20 passed it with the comfortable majority of the Liberal Democratic Party plus its two non-Cabinet allies — the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake.

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