Provisional Translation

Press Conference by ASO Taro, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services


(Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 9:35 am to 9:45 am)

[Questions and answers:]


We are at the end of March, the end of the fiscal year, an important point in time for funding. Last week, the FSA announced example cases of concrete measures taken by financial institutions and called for awareness of them. I’d like to ask you for your current thoughts on the situation.


I’ve met with many managers since then. Among previous cases of these kinds of situations, younger managers are aware of the last crisis due to Lehman Shock. Those who are a bit older, around my generation, are familiar with the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Those managers say that the response of financial institutions to this situation has been very courteous, smooth, and quick. It’s because they have experience that they are saying this is being done quickly. On March 27, the FSA collected together and announced response examples taken by financial institutions. Among these were deferring the principle on loans for a fixed period of three months or a year in accordance with consultations with the business operator. In the case of repayment, there are financial institutions that make efforts along the lines of deferring principal. We are showing examples that these institutions to do so without fail. Also, in addition to loans for corporations, we are requesting that they accommodate individual business loans and housing loans, because support will also be necessary for the repayment of housing loans. This also entails a wide range, with borrowers facing a variety of circumstances. There are several ways to deal with this, such as by lowering payments of 50,000 yen to 25,000 yen, or lengthening a payback period from five years to seven, and the FSA is requesting that all financial institutions respond flexibly to a wide range of borrowers’ needs. There are several examples of such responses being taken, and we’d like to report on such cases. This was not a bad reaction. It’s only a part of the reaction, and it is still ongoing. I believe that this is not well known.

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