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BASEL, Switzerland (Kyodo) Bank of Japan Gov. Toshihiko Fukui hurried back to Tokyo on Sunday after a daylong meeting with the central bank chiefs of the Group of 10 nations, who gave him a brief respite from the domestic turmoil generated by his investment in the Murakami fund.

Although the G-10 issued no official statements, Fukui and his colleagues, including U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, discussed the international economic situation and monetary policies amid fragile market conditions at the weekend meeting.

The topics reportedly included the BOJ’s approach toward an expected interest rate hike.

The central bank chiefs tried to console and cheer up their beleaguered comrade.

“We hold him in the highest esteem,” Trichet said.

Trichet himself once went on trial when he was a senior official in the French Treasury Ministry, over false accounting by a former French national bank. He was acquitted in 2003.

Fukui earlier this month acknowledged in the Diet that in fall 1999, when he was chairman of a private think tank, he invested 10 million yen in the fund founded by Yoshiaki Murakami, who was indicted Friday for insider trading.

He kept the money in the fund after becoming BOJ chief in March 2003. According to documents he presented to the Diet, his investment had more than doubled to 22.31 million yen as of the end of last December.

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