Press Conference by Yoshimi Watanabe, Minister for Financial Services
April 22, 2008
[Opening Remarks by Minister Watanabe]
At a ministerial conference after today's cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister talked about an “inventory review” of policy measures. He said that to achieve a “zero-waste government,” “I would like you to conduct an ‘inventory review,’ that is, drastically review policy measures that have been continued for a long time, and complete the review by the time that budget requests are made and make sure to reflect the results of the review in the budget requests for the next fiscal year. In doing this, I would like you to enable your ministries and agencies to fully exercise their ability to make improvements themselves, for example by setting up an improvement project team comprised mainly of younger senior officials with flexible and bold ideas and to achieve sufficient results to gain public trust.”
As part of our effort to eliminate waste in government, we will conduct an intensive review of public interest corporations closely involved with the administration. For our part, we will contribute to the state coffers by selling assets held by incorporated administrative agencies. A bill for the revision of the Act on General Rules for Incorporated Administrative Agencies is now being debated among the ruling parties, and I have requested that a cabinet decision be made this Friday. That is all I have to say.
[Questions and Answers]
A lot of publicity has been given to news that the (Securities and Exchange) Surveillance Commission has launched an investigation into suspected insider trading by an employee of Nomura Securities. What do you know about this?
As I have not yet received a report on this specific case, I would like to refrain from making a comment. Generally speaking, it is quite outrageous for an employee of a major securities company to use in-house information to engage in insider trading.
We must take strict action in such a case.
What do you think about the fact that this has come on the heels of a recent insider trading case involving a certified public accountant?
Generally speaking, it is quite outrageous for a person who has access to insider information and who works for an institution that plays an essential role in the market, such as a securities company and an audit firm, to use such information for a primitive crime like this. We will take strict action.
What do you think of the employer's responsibility for the oversight of employees?
Generally speaking, we will take strict action against crimes like this.
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