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Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka defended the Finance Ministry on Tuesday over the collapse of Yamaichi Securities Co., saying it would have been impossible for ministry officials to discover the brokerage had been conducting irregular, off-the-book trading.

He was speaking amid public criticism that the ministry, which is responsible for supervising and inspecting financial institutions, is partly responsible for the nation’s financial turmoil. A number of lawmakers, including members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, have criticized the ministry for Yamaichi’s collapse, saying the ministry lacks the ability to do its job and that it should have known about the firm’s hidden wrongdoings and should have kept the information a secret. Hiromu Nonaka, deputy Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, said during a meeting of LDP executives Tuesday that the ministry should take the blame for the financial confusion.

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