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Financial Services Minister Heizo Takenaka called on other Cabinet ministers Friday to buy investment trust products linked to stock market indexes to encourage people to shift their money from savings to investments.

“At an informal session of the Cabinet meeting this morning, I asked other ministers to actively buy ETFs (exchange-traded funds),” Takenaka told a regularly scheduled news conference.

He said he will purchase ETFs linked to the Nikkei index and Topix, which he says reflect the future of the Japanese economy.

“Investment trust products play an important role in shifting money from savings to investment,” and purchasing ETFs means investing in Japan’s future, Takenaka said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said he will buy ETFs.

“I also asked ministers to cooperate in purchasing the ETFs because it is important to revitalize the stock markets by accelerating the flow of individuals’ money from savings to investments,” Fukuda said.

“The markets are sluggish now, so I want individuals to participate,” he said.

He indicated that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi may buy similar products.

Takenaka and Fukuda said ministers are not prohibited from purchasing investment trust products, but they should be careful not to arouse public suspicions that they are engaged in shady transactions.

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