The government will consider disclosing some financial data of the troubled Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa indicated Friday before a Lower House special committee on financial system stabilization.
Miyazawa acknowledged the importance of letting people know about the bank’s real standing “to some extent.” The comment came in response to Okiharu Yasuoka, a key legislator of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on financial issues. Okiharu had called for a political decision to open the LTCB’s books, a move he said could gain public understanding for the government’s support of the bank.
Miyazawa said it is necessary to consider ways the government can disclose LTCB-related information despite some legal limitations. The government has insisted that findings of LTCB inspections, being conducted by the Financial Supervisory Agency, must not be released to avoid financial turmoil. The government’s reluctance also results from officials’ legal duty to protect privileged information.
It is widely suspected that LTCB has liabilities exceeding its assets and that the bank has not disclosed sufficient information about its bad loans.
In the afternoon session, Miyazawa expressed interest in an opposition proposal to use credit insurance associations to protect sound borrowers of failed banks.
The Liberal Party’s Yoshio Suzuki suggested that public funds be injected into the Small Business Credit Insurance Corp. so local credit insurance associations could extend loans to sound borrowers of failed banks.
The plan is part of a framework of financial legislation agreed on by three opposition parties — the Democratic Party, Shinto Heiwa (New Peace Party) and the Liberal Party.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.