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The average daily balance of Japanese bank lending fell 5 percent in September from a year earlier for the 69th consecutive month of decline, the Bank of Japan said Friday in a preliminary report.

The balance of loans at five types of Japanese banks came to 399.69 trillion yen, the BOJ said.

The downtrend apparently reflects continued weak corporate demand for funds and reluctance by banks to extend loans amid efforts to clean up their bad-loan mess.

The balance of bank loans, including those by “shinkin” savings-and-loan banks, fell 4.4 percent.

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