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Half of Japan's regional banks mark second year of losses

Rock-bottom interest rates weigh on earnings

Branches of regional banks line the street in the northern Japanese city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

TOKYO -- About half of Japan's 106 regional banks incurred a loss from their core operations for at least two years in a row, the Financial Services Agency reported Wednesday, highlighting the broad impact of the country's ultralow interest rates.

The data is based on earning results for fiscal years ending March 31. Profit from lending operations and fee income from selling investment trusts are included in core earnings.

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