National

Ishihara has novel ideas for new term

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara suggested Monday that municipal government employees might be able to lend police a helping hand as a way to strengthen security in the capital.

“If police cannot increase their manpower immediately, I intend to lend them employees of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and let them do administrative work at the police force,” Ishihara said.

He added that such a move would allow police to use more of their manpower for controlling crime.

Ishihara, 70, proposed the idea one day after winning a landslide re-election victory.

Security is the top issue among the public, Ishihara said.

Yet no active or productive policy debates took place during the election campaign due to what he called the “childishness” of other candidates and the political parties that backed them.

Asked about his plans for general policy in his second term, Ishihara said he will continue to pursue aggressively what he had been seeking in his first term.

On his proposal to create a new type of bank through tie-ups with the private sector, he said his administration plans to create a rough draft of the plan by the end of May.

Ishihara suggested that the bank utilize information technology by teaming up with companies equipped with such technology.

“There are many bank-related (transactions) you can do without actually going to a bank,” he said.

Creation of the bank, a top item on Ishihara’s second-term agenda, is aimed at providing smooth funding for small and midsize companies to aid the ailing economy.

Ishihara has criticized the existing financial institutions for their failure to achieve this end.

In pursuing his goal, however, Ishihara played down the possibility of working with foreign banks.

He said Tokyo is giving foreign banks a low spot on its priority list, though such banks have been enthusiastically contacting him on the issue.

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