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The Financial Reconstruction Commission agreed Tuesday that it is better to go ahead with a plan to end government protection for all bank deposits on March 31, 2001, rather than postponing it.
FRC Chairman Michio Ochi, who is also a state minister, detailed his position as the ruling coalition struggles to form a consensus on the issue.
In a statement, the five-member FRC board said they agree that the March 2001 schedule must be met in prin ciple, but they are divided on whether credit unions should be exempted from the rule.
However, the board agreed that if exempting credit unions would lead to the postponement of the entire plan, then no exceptions would be better, the statement said. The Liberal Party, a member of the ruling coalition, is calling for the scheme to be postponed for two years.
The FRC shares responsibility with the Finance Ministry for policy-planning in the event of a financial crisis.
Some politicians in the rul ing bloc insist that credit unions should be exempted from the limited protection scheme because there may be a run on their deposits. The government will only offer protection of up to 10 million yen per depositor.
They point out that the central government does not know the exact state of credit unions’ balance sheets and the scale of their bad loans because they are under prefectural supervision until next March.
Ochi himself is one of those politicians calling for the ex emption, but any postponement would damage international confidence in Japan’s financial sector, he said.
The March 2001 deadline is widely recognized as a government pledge.
But Ochi pointed out that even the Financial System Council, an advisory panel to the finance minister, made an exception in a report it released earlier in the day. The council says “liquid deposit” accounts, such as business settlement accounts, should be fully protected for a limited period of time.

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