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Taxpayers may have to cough up for the Bank of Japan’s irrecoverable collateral-free loans to defunct Yamaichi Securities Co., Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa hinted Thursday.

Speaking at the House of Councilors Committee on Financial Affairs, Shiokawa referred to a remark by then Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in regard to the possibility of the government covering the loans when Yamaichi was declared bankrupt in 1999.

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