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Financial Services Minister Heizo Takenaka hinted Wednesday that in the future, he may publicize talks by a project team set up within his agency to discuss speeding up the disposal of bad loans.

Takenaka said before the House of Representatives Financial Affairs Committee that the team has so far been primarily a study group for himself and that it was necessary to concentrate on discussions within that framework.

But he added: “I think the nature of the project team will probably change in the future. I would like to disclose what can be disclosed.” The minister made the comments in response to a question by Yuriko Koike of the New Conservative Party.

Set up in early October, the team has been criticized for not publicizing any of its nine rounds of discussions held so far.

Koike criticized the talks for being held behind closed doors. She said the team has a public role, considering that taxpayer money is being used to pay its members.

Takenaka suggested he will consider increasing the number of members on the team.

The team currently consists of six government officials and five people from the private sector.

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