Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday praised a planned move by Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. to appoint people from the private sector — and not former bureaucrats — to top management, saying they are more likely to “energize” Japan’s largest bourse.

The privately owned company, which runs the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is reportedly in its final stage of coordination to appoint former TSE Vice President Takuo Tsurushima, 66, as president.

TSE Inc. has also decided to create a position of chairperson and appoint Yoshihide Munekuni, chairman of Honda Motor Co., to the post, sources said.

People coming from the private sector “should know much more about the front line of the market. They should have a keen sense of management, too,” Koizumi told reporters Monday evening.

“If there are good candidates from the private sector, they should be better (than former bureaucrats),” said Koizumi, who has consistently and enthusiastically bashed bureaucrats and praised the private sector.

Tsurushima, if formally appointed at a general shareholders’ meeting in early April, will be the first former TSE official to become president.

He would succeed late Masaaki Tsuchida, who died in January at age 67. The position of president has been left vacant since then.

The last six TSE presidents including Tsuchida, were former bureaucrats.

Information from Kyodo added

More cushy deals?

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s recent pledge to ban former vice ministers from heading up semigovernmental financial institutions will not necessarily apply to other high-ranking bureaucrats in the future, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Monday.

“It’s a topic to be discussed in the future. We have to discuss the matter in the process of reorganizing those institutions,” Fukuda said during his regularly scheduled news conference.

Fukuda was responding to a question concerning whether Koizumi’s pledge, made Friday in the House of Representatives, would be applied to former officials who served as bureau chiefs or other senior officers at the government ministries and agencies. The nine institutions are often criticized for their inefficient operations, their cozy relations with government officials and for eating into the private sector market.

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