Scarred by scandal, the Finance Ministry held a meeting March 12 with senior banking officials to introduce a new system of information exchange with the financial sector that would not require excessive wining and dining.

Ministry officials said the meeting, held in a ministry conference room, was the first step in securing a forum for direct talks with banks in an effort to respond to criticism of regulators’ murky ties with the industry. The effort comes at a time when one Bank of Japan official and several from the ministry have been arrested for allegedly accepting bribes from banks and brokerages in the form of excessive wining and dining in return for favors.

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