Press Conference by Shizuka Kamei, Minister for Financial Services
(Tuesday, March 16, 2010, from 8:53 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.)
The business groups and industrial circles have expressed opposition to the planned amendment of the Cabinet Office Ordinance revision which is now under consideration by the FSA (Financial Services Agency) and which is intended to require the disclosure of executive remuneration for individual executives who earn 100 million yen or more at listed companies. Yesterday, the public comment period ended. Does the FSA intend to review the proposed requirement in response to the opposition received?
I suppose that the opposition comes from people who feel they are earning too much relative to their performance. The FSA does not need to give consideration to the feelings of such people. People who feel that they are earning too much and who do not want their remuneration to be disclosed should take pay cuts, while people who are confident of deserving to receive more should feel no shame to seek more. I do not understand why you are interested in this issue?
I understand that business leaders are opposing the proposed disclosure requirement because companies are already disclosing their total amount of executive remunerations(paid to all executives), and I also suppose that the opponents are referring to problems related to the protection of personal information.
If so, the issue should be where to draw the line: to what extent the personal information concerning people who play a public and social role should be disclosed. I would like you to tell the opponents what I told you earlier: that if they feel they are earning too much, they should work harder. If they feel ashamed to have their pay disclosed or think they do not deserve their pay, they should take pay cuts. They should not be paranoid about issues like this. They should engage in management with more dignity.
I would like to ask you again about the money lending business. I expect that how to regulate advertising (of lawyers) will become a major issue. For example, prime time TV commercial messages by law firms (that try to obtain clients who would sue consumer finance companies) have drawn strong criticism. How do you think such advertising should be regulated?
I do not know whether such advertising by lawyers is a crowd-pulling ploy for commercial gain or whether it reflects a conscientious intention to provide support for people saddled with a heavy burden of interest payments on multiple debts and for people seeking a refund of overcharged interest. We should not unilaterally prejudge that lawyers are evil.
I am of the view that humans are inherently good. Unlike your company, I do not take the view that humans are inherently evil.
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