Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 9:43 am to 9:56 am)
[Questions and answers:]
Regarding the FSA’s administration, well basically, until now, economics textbooks have been written on the premise that if they had money, people would come and borrow. But economic conditions have changed significantly. Those are probably the only sorts of books you’ve read. But nowadays, even if they have money, people don’t come and borrow. We’re in an era that we had never learned about while studying economics until now, and the attitude that if you have money, you will obviously lend it, no longer holds true. We now have a situation where hardly anyone comes to borrow, where you actually have to ask them to borrow. So conditions have changed significantly. Rather, in those regions and areas where the population is declining, that approach will be difficult without a solid foundation. Around 20 years ago, the Financial Supervisory Agency was established, separating from the Ministry of Finance. At that time, banks’ failures were occurred, so with the aim of preventing banks going under, the financial authorities would be looking for problems with the banks, so they had an image as a “financial punishment agency,” but the situation has changed dramatically, with capital ratios now at relatively high levels, so this will mark a basic shift in stance to “nurturing financial sector.” I’ve been saying this every year for the past five years, and that’s the way things have changed, so the FSA’s role in financial sector has also changed substantially, so I think the idea is to not only rely on personnel who have been trained within the FSA, but also to hire people from other financial sector, because the financial sector needs to be considered from other perspectives. Based on this, a direction has gradually been established over the past five years, and I think it just took some time to reorganize the agency to reflect that, and I’m looking forward to seeing everything that will come out of it.
I have a question about the FSA personnel changes. Teruhisa Kurita, Deputy Director-General of the Planning and Coordination Bureau, has been promoted to Director-General of the Supervision Bureau. He’s the youngest out of the new Commissioner and Director-Generals, having only joined the old Ministry of Finance in 1987, so could you tell me what the aims of the personnel changes are?
If I’m asked about this, I’m bound to say that it’s a case of putting the right people in the right jobs, so I think the right people have been placed in the right jobs.
Could you tell me what your expectations are for Toshihide Endo, the new Commissioner, including with regard to the further progress with the reforms you have been spearheading for the past five years?
My expectations for Mr. Endo. Well, I’d say that he has a gentler personality than Mr. Mori did.
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