Diet to call AIJ president to give sworn testimony


A Diet committee decided Wednesday to summon AIJ Investment Advisors Co. President Kazuhiko Asakawa and three others to testify as sworn witnesses on April 13 over the asset management firm’s pension asset loss scandal.

The Lower House Financial Affairs Committee has concluded that unsworn testimony may not be an effective way to investigate the AIJ scandal, a committee source said.

Sworn witnesses can be punished for false testimony or declining to show up at the Diet without a good reason.

Asakawa, as an unsworn witness, has told Diet meetings that AIJ used false investment return records in seeking to persuade pension funds to entrust assets with the firm while in fact accumulating investment losses.

The other three to be summoned include Hideaki Nishimura, president of ITM Securities Co. who solicited pension funds to entrust assets with AIJ. ITM Securities is under AIJ’s control.

The second is Isao Ishiyama, a former bureaucrat who now runs a pension fund consultancy and is believed to have introduced AIJ to pension funds.

The third is AIJ director Shigeko Takahashi, who declined to give unsworn Diet testimony for health reasons.