Press Conference by Kaoru Yosano, Minister of Finance and Minister for Financial Services and Economic and Fiscal Policy
March 17, 2009
[Opening Remarks by Minister Yosano]
The cabinet meeting proceeded based on the predetermined agenda. I do not have anything particular to report to you.
[Questions and Answers]
Could you tell us about Japan’s contributions to the recent meeting of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and policy measures that may be taken as the London summit approaches?
While there are differences between the G-20 countries’ degrees of economic development, as the G-20 is a group comprising developed countries and emerging countries, all these countries are in a similar position in that they face an economic and financial crisis. This group does not provide a forum to completely reconcile the interests of the participating countries and settle all things at once. I expect that a consensus will be forged gradually through several meetings.
For example, all of the 20 countries agree on the need for regulations, and the issue will be what regulations should be introduced when. Japan accepts that much time should be devoted to discussions on the capital adequacy ratio at Basel (Committee on Banking Supervision). However, we have expressed concern that abruptly raising the capital adequacy ratio at this stage will lead to a credit crunch in Japan, and our position has probably been understood.
The IMF has called on individual countries to take fiscal measures. At the G-20 meeting, a similar call was made. However, economic and fiscal conditions vary from country to country, and, of course, individual countries will not take actions that would be inconsistent with their own circumstances. There is an understanding that each country should act at its own discretion. Although there have been many news articles and commentaries that give the impression that there is considerable discord across the Atlantic, that is not necessarily the case in my opinion.
Yesterday, a panel of experts that advises the Prime Minister held the first meeting. How do you intend to reflect the findings of the panel in economic policy?
At a press conference last evening, there was a mood of disappointment at the lack of any surprising proposal. However, I had not been hoping for any such proposal, as I had already been maintaining contact with many of the members of this panel. What is important is what implications the policy measures that each member of this panel is considering will have for the current socio-economy, and their proposals will be very useful. Rather than merely receiving the proposals, we must reflect them in our management of economic and fiscal policies.
This panel is scheduled to hold nine meetings, including the one held yesterday, so I believe that it will provide Prime Minister Aso with a good opportunity to hear a very wide range of opinions.
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