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To prevent further corruption at the Finance Ministry, it may be necessary to set up a monitoring body that includes outside people, a member of a ministry ad hoc panel said Friday.

The idea was raised when the 15-member study group held its second closed-door meeting. The panel, launched last month amid a bribery scandal, is headed by Ryuzo Sejima, special adviser to the major trading house Itochu Corp.

Six of its members gave their opinions about how to prevent official misconduct, about the ministry’s policymaking process and its personnel policy, Hiroshi Kato, a panel member and president of the Chiba University of Commerce, told a news conference.

Another idea floated for preventing wrongdoing was for the ministry to follow the lead of private firms and hold seminars for senior officials so they can discuss the issue, Kato said.

Also suggested at the meeting was reinforcement of a ministry think tank that makes clear where the ministry is heading, according to Kato. Other ideas included abolishment of the practice of assigning ministry officials in their 20s as regional tax bureau chiefs, he said, without identifying each speaker. The practice has been criticized for breeding arrogance at an early stage in a bureaucrat’s career.

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