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The Bank of Japan partially outlined an organizational reform plan Sept. 12 that would streamline its operations starting in April 1998.

The plan comes in the wake of June’s revision of the Bank of Japan Law, which gives the central bank more autonomy and transparency in decision-making. To streamline the decision-making process, three departments will be changed to offices and executive directors will be directly in charge of each office. As a result there will be three less department directors.

The Policy Planning Department, Financial and Payment System Department and Budget and Management Department were chosen because they handle more interdepartmental affairs than others do, a senior BOJ official said. The reorganized BOJ will then have a total of 10 departments, five offices and one institute, monetary and economic studies.

The BOJ will also review the locations of its branches across the nation, considering the regional economic needs. The BOJ official did not rule out a possible abolition of branches, though no target date is set for the review. There are 33 branches at present.

The secretariat of the Policy Board will be reinforced by, for example, absorbing the media relations section into the Secretariat. It will deal with the Diet and business organizations besides the news media.

An independent internal auditing section will be established under the direct control of the governor. Another reform measure involves the Credit and Market Management Department, which will be tentatively named Financial Market Operations and Surveillance Department. It will be in charge of monetary control and surveillance of domestic and overseas financial markets as well as participant financial institutions.

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