Scandals cast doubt abroad that ‘Big Bang’ will work

Amid the scandals involving the nation’s major financial institutions, questions are being raised overseas about whether the “Big Bang” financial reforms can bring true changes, Kumiharu Shidehara, deputy secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said June 2.

Speaking at Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Shidehara expressed strong concerns over the scandals involving Nomura Securities Co. and Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank. Summing up reactions overseas, he said, “People are wondering whether Japan can really carry out the Big Bang.”

Shidehara said losses incurred by financial transactions belong to individual investors and are not to be transferred to someone else in an opaque manner. “The financial business has been globalized and it is the least worldly business sector,” he said. “The very fact that this particular sector has become a scene of these scandals symbolizes the reality that the whole economic system of Japan has yet to become free from old conventional business practices.”