Press Conference by SUZUKI Shunichi, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, March ４, 2022, ９:01 am to ９:11 am)
First, I will explain the packages of measures to revitalize small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Today, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Financial Services Agency and the Ministry of Finance will jointly publish the policy package which compiles measures for SMEs that are expected to serve as an engine to create a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution. These measures are the review of financial support implemented so far in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the promotion of SMEs’ efforts for improving earning power, restructuring business, or taking on new challenges. Concrete measures by the FSA and the Ministry of Finance include respond to end-of-the-fiscal-year demand for credit. We hold the Meeting to Exchange Views on the Facilitation of Finance for SMEs on Monday, March 7, with the participation of representatives of public and private financial institutions, where I will directly ask for their cooperation in thorough cash flow support for SMEs. We have also decided to extend the deadline for the interest-free in real term and unsecured loans by the Japan Finance Corporation, etc. up to this June, continue the provision of the crisis response loans by the Shoko Chukin Bank and the Development Bank of Japan up to this June, and also continue the provision of subordinated loans recognizable as capital up to the end of the next fiscal year. In this manner, we will vigorously support SMEs' financing and business growth and continuation. Additionally, the Guidelines for revitalizing SME businesses for which deliberations have been held under the initiative of the Japanese Bankers Association, are scheduled to be published today. The national government will encourage the use of the guidelines for the purpose of assisting SMEs with their efforts for rehabilitation. Please make inquiries on the details of the package with the FSA or the Ministry of Finance.
Next, I will explain Cabinet decisions concerning bills submitted by the FSA. On March 1, the draft Act for Partially Amending the Certified Public Accountants Act, etc. was approved at the Cabinet meeting. This Act is for implementing necessary measures with the aim of ensuring the reliability of audits and further enhancing the abilities of certified public accountants. Additionally today, the draft Act for Partially Amending the Payment Services Act, etc. was approved at the Cabinet meeting. This Act is for implementing necessary measures with the aim of building stable and efficient payment systems in response to the progress in financial digitalization. Both Acts are important in order to appropriately deal with issues surrounding the current financial sector policies. I would like to ask for early deliberations at the Diet.