Press Conference by the Minister for Financial Services
October 15 , 2004
Please outline your views concerning Daiei's decision to request support from Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan (IRCJ).
I am aware that Daiei has requested support from the IRCJ, but would like to refrain from commenting because it is a management decision made by an individual company seeking to restructure. In general, realizing simultaneous revitalization of financial and industrial sectors is an important challenge in furthering structural reform. In order to achieve this task, I believe it is critical for every company in debt to develop solid, convincing restructuring plans that withstand the tests of transparency and evaluation by the market, and to steadily implement these plans. Through this process, I strongly hope that Japan's overall competitiveness will recover, and that our economy will be revitalized.
There are reports forecasting that President Takagi of Daiei will announce his resignation. President Takagi was brought in by the banks to restructure Daiei two years ago, but has shown extreme puzzlement that the banks' attitude changed at around the same time, when it was decided to take drastic measures to deal with Non-performing loans (NPLs) through the Program for Financial Revival. How would you respond to those who blame that kind of administrative change for Daiei's problems?
I do not think it is appropriate for me to comment on the future of Daiei executives, and will therefore refrain from making any comment in relation to that point. As you know, The Program for Financial Revival was developed with the aim of solving Japan's long-standing NPLs problem. If you see the NPLs problem from an industry or a company side, both an industrial viewpoint and a corporate viewpoint, it is a problem of excess liabilities, and therefore it is very important to recover the competitiveness of each company or each industrial sector by correcting the problem. Within that framework, I think it is crucial that the executives of each company make appropriate decisions to enhance their corporate value and improve their competitiveness while undergoing evaluation by the consumer. In doing so, it is very important for all parties concerned to communicate well, develop and implement a practical restructuring plan to achieve revitalization. Through those efforts, I believe, overall reforms are presently underway in terms of both finance and industry.
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