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Some 48 percent of domestic households surveyed in the fall said they had seen a year-on-year decline in their financial assets such as bank deposits and postal savings, according to the results of the poll, carried out on housewives, that were released Wednesday.

Around half the respondents to the survey, conducted between Oct. 24 and Nov. 28 by the government-funded National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, replied that they had drawn on these assets to cover a decline in income.

The survey results also show that household investments were concentrated in relatively secure financial instruments, notably bank deposits and postal savings.

Around 80 percent of respondents said they were uninterested in risk vehicles such as stocks.

Some 2,000 housewives were surveyed in major cities throughout the nation.

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