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The ruling triumvirate called Thursday for adding 5 trillion yen to a special loan-guarantee program to help small and midsize companies suffering from the tight lending practices of financial institutions.

At their meeting, policy chiefs of the three parties also heard requests from officials of the Transport Ministry for a second fiscal 1999 supplementary budget, party officials said.

The Transport Ministry will demand about 40 billion yen for construction and maintenance of major ports and 30 billion yen for bullet train lines, the ministry officials were quoted as telling the party officials.

The ministry will also ask for 10 billion yen for a new Chubu region airport to be included in the second supplementary budget, the ministry officials told the ruling coalition.

During policy coordination talks involving the Liberal Democratic Party, the Liberal Party and New Komeito, the ministry officials also said 2 billion yen is necessary for feasibility studies for a third Tokyo airport to be built on a floating structure in Tokyo Bay.

According to Shizuka Kamei, policy chief of the LDP, the ministry officials also said they are considering allowing international airlines to operate at night at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, which is now primarily used for domestic flights.

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