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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Friday its effective balance of revenues and expenditures was 10 billion yen in the red in fiscal 2001, its fourth consecutive year in negative territory.

The negative balance in the year to March 31 was down sharply from the previous year’s 67.8 billion yen in the red. The improvement was attributed to the capital’s review of various policies and cuts in construction spending.

The introduction of a new local tax on banks also contributed to the deficit reduction, it said.

However, it remains to be seen if the tax revenue from major city banks will be able to stay on the books as the banks have sued the metropolitan government, saying the tax is illegal. The Tokyo District Court in March ruled in favor of the banks, and the metropolitan government has appealed the case to a higher court.

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