Press Conference by the Minister for Financial Services


September 9 , 2003

Today, a meeting was held at the Prime Minister's office, among Ministers and senior officials concerning to activation in industry and enhancement of financial functions. The meeting was attended by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Senior Vice Minister of Finance, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan, and myself.

The idea of the meeting originated from talks at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) on September 2, in which I suggested, when the topic turned to the necessity of measures for enhancing industrial finance, creating an opportunity for the concerned Ministers to have discussions. Subsequent to my suggestion to examine various policies in detail by refining the industry- and finance-related policies stated in the Basic Policies 2003, the concerned Ministers and senior officials were convened under the Chief Cabinet Secretary.

Originally, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Mr. Takeo Hiranuma had proposed looking into industrial finance, and in response, I suggested at CEFP that a meeting be held among the concerned Ministers.

In the meeting today, I explained what kind of policies are being implemented by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in accordance with Basic Policies 2003, and made a short comment on what kind of viewpoint needs to be adopted when examining concrete measures for industrial and financial sectors.

In the meeting, the issues are highly specialized and technical, as one can easily imagine. Therefore, it was agreed that the issues should first be thoroughly examined by relevant administration staff, and in consideration of the circumstances, the meetings should be held among the concerned Ministers when necessary.

There is another announcement I would like to make. The Program for Financial Revival last year prescribed that the gap between major banks' self-assessment and FSA's inspection results would be periodically disclosed to the public on an aggregated basis, and that the banks would be urged to close the gap. In accordance with this policy, we made the first disclosure of the gap on November 8, 2002. We have just completed the aggregation of the data obtained from inspections conducted by June 2003, and decided to release the results for the second time. The Inspection Bureau will brief you on this matter this evening.


What are your ideas regarding FSA's efforts in enhancing financial functions in industry?


Our aim is to ensure that money circulates smoothly in the industry. This is precisely the aim of enhancing relationship-banking functions, which we are already trying.

Another is the development of the framework of trust. We are currently working toward a legislation to include intellectual property rights within its scope, and allow ordinary corporations to enter this field and so on. Our job, first and foremost, is to properly perform the tasks exclusively assigned to FSA.

It is hoped that the meetings will help Ministries and Agencies do more than perform their respective tasks, and join forces to tackle issues which require cross-organizational effort. In the meeting today, I stated that further examination should be conducted, especially from three viewpoints:

First, activating the industry side, the recipient of funds;

Second, diversifying the flow of funds; and

Third, facilitating the protection of investors, who are the source of funds.

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