Government ministers will soon hold a conference to discuss problems related to “sokaiya” corporate extortionists as the reverberations of payoff scandals involving leading financial institutions continue to shake Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiroku Kajiyama said July 11.

“We agreed during an informal meeting this morning to set up a conference to talk about measures to solve problems caused by sokaiya racketeers,” Kajiyama told a regularly scheduled news conference. The ministries involved will promote information exchanges and strengthen cooperation to tackle the sokaiya problem, the top government spokesman said.

Measures to be discussed include possible revisions to the legal framework to keep a better watch over both corporations and sokaiya, he said. “We also agreed to call on business circles to adopt a resolute attitude to cut all ties with the racketeers,” Kajiyama said, adding that police will back up corporations that confront the gangsters.

Detailed measures will be discussed by a working group of representatives of the ministries of Justice, Finance, International Trade and Industry and the National Public Safety Commission, Kajiyama said. Penalty clauses in the Commercial Code will probably be strengthened, he said.

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