Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, December 26, 2014, 11:24 am to 11:47 am)
[Questions and answers]
The Third Abe Cabinet has been inaugurated, and you have been reappointed as Minister. Please remind us what you see as the tasks for this third government to tackle.
Once again, I have been appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of State for Financial Services, and Minister in charge of Overcoming Deflation, so I hope I can continue to count on your support.
Regarding finance, we must direct the what is now 1,654 trillion yen in personal financial assets into investment, into growth. We must establish a so-called virtuous cycle. We also need to make companies more competitive, increase productivity, and so on ... there are various ways of describing it. We must also take action from the financial side to promote the establishment of new companies. In addition, regarding funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), various points have been raised, but I think it’s probably become the biggest pain relating to the deflationary recession, so I think it’s extremely important for escaping the deflationary recession and supporting economic revitalization. So I think we must promote and improve the NISA scheme, and we are making progress with that now, and with the aim of getting corporate directors to keep a closer eye on what’s going on inside their companies, we must assist with the formulation of the corporate governance code. Furthermore, to get the financial intermediary capabilities of banks and so on, especially regional banks, second-tier regional banks, shinkin banks, and so on, to be better exercised in serving the so-called SMEs and regional companies that surround them, I think the fact that these institutions lend money not to just one company, but to various different companies, means that they possess information on various other companies, on various other industries, so I think we need to get them to promote those companies, industries, and so on. So I think a number of things have to be done. Basically, I think that unless we get these things done properly, it’ll be difficult to achieve our original targets, so I think we’re going to have to work hard.
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