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The fiscal 2009 budget appears likely to clear the Diet by the March 31 end of this fiscal year, after the Democratic Party of Japan basically decided Tuesday to allow the ruling camp to pass it in the Lower House on Friday.

But the record ¥88.5 trillion budget might be delayed until next week if other opposition parties strongly protest it.

Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said meanwhile that he supports the formulation of a new economic stimulus package to pull the economy out of its slump once the budget is enacted.

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