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Risk capital still running short in Japan

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A woman walks past a show window of a cosmetics store on a street in Ginza, Tokyo. Loans extended by Japanese banks have been on the rise for 36 straight months.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- In a sign that the economic recovery is spreading to wider sectors, the total amount of loans extended by private financial institutions has been on the rise for 36 straight months since September 2011.

    However, it appears that lenders are getting pickier about where they put their money. Much of the lending is going to sure bets such as midsize-to-large established companies and banks are hesitating to take risks and lend new or smaller businesses with a greater chance of going awry.

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