Press Conference by Shizuka Kamei, Minister for Financial Services
(Tuesday, November 24, 2009, from 9:01 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.)
[Questions and Answers]
The bill for the moratorium has been sent to the House of Councilors (Upper House), while a vote on the bill for the review of the postal businesses was postponed at the House of Representatives' Committee (on Internal Affairs and Communications). Could you tell us about your resolve concerning these two bills and their prospects?
Both bills should be enacted quickly. Especially, the bill to facilitate financing for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) (Bill on Extraordinary Measures to Facilitate Financing for SMEs, etc.) must be immediately enacted and put into force, as the end of the year (when SMEs may face financial difficulties) is around the corner. It is incomprehensible why the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and New Komeito are refusing to deliberate the bill as a sort of delaying tactic. Even the Japanese Communist Party are supporting the bill. The LDP and New Komeito will not be able to obtain the people's understanding on their attempt to delay the passage of the bills, which are supported not only by us but also by some opposition parties in the House of Representatives (Lower House).
In this sense, the LDP's management of Diet affairs has apparently gone wrong. They are starting to engage in a politics that is disconnected with what the people really wish for. If he (apparently referring to LDP President Tanigaki, who was injured in a bicycle accident) is going around among the people on a bicycle, he should do more than just pedaling his way. His bicycle toppled over (as he failed to do more than just that). I understand that he is going around among the people on a bicycle so that he can learn why the people are struggling. I hope that a stance like that will be put into practice in Diet deliberations.
I understand that the outline of the Financial Inspection Manual was revealed at the House of Representatives' Committee (on Financial Affairs) last week. Could you comment on that?
Regarding that, we received proposals during a question-and-answer session at this committee, including, for instance, a very good proposal from the Japanese Communist Party. We will incorporate those proposals into the Financial Inspection Manual and the Supervisory Guidelines, which are being compiled now and will be completed soon and of course, we will make their drafts public (for public consultation).
Although financial institutions initially expressed surprise or voiced criticism at that bill, I presume that they are now greatly welcoming our combined efforts to revise the Financial Inspection Manual and the Supervisory Guidelines in addition to trying to enact the bill. I have the impression that they are welcoming the bill as a kind of text book of how financial institutions should extend loans.
Regarding the bill to facilitate financing, how effective it will be is a matter of strong interest for the people, or I should say for SMEs. There are apparently fears that if borrowers ask for a moratorium (in accordance with the bill), it may end up with having the unintended effect of prompting the lending financial institution to demand the repayment of the entire loan at once. Could you comment on that? I would appreciate even a simple comment.
If we find such a wicked financial institution, we will never hesitate to issue a business improvement order when necessary.
May we count on it?
Of course, you can.
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