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Man, 45, Japan: How to deal with friends requesting loans?

I have had relationship problems with friends who have asked me for loans. Since I became a company employee a long time ago, often people with money problems have looked to me for help. I have helped them when it was possible, but unfortunately our relationship has degraded. In addition, not long ago, a co-worker asked me for a loan of 400,000 yen (about $5,000) to help her to pay her husband's hospital expenses. I kindly refused, but since then she has been very unfriendly to me. I wonder if there is a way to lend money to friends without damaging the relationship, and I would like to have advice on how to deal with loan requests.

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