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Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said Tuesday that former economic and fiscal policy minister Hiroko Ota will become chairwoman of the board of directors in June to enhance its corporate governance, following its core banking unit’s involvement in loans to gangsters.

Ota, a 60-year-old professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, served as economic and fiscal policy minister between 2006 and 2008. Takashi Kawamura, a 74-year-old former chairman of Hitachi Ltd., will also serve as an outside board member.

Under the company’s plan to strengthen its governance structure, Mizuho said it will create three committees to nominate executives, decide on their pay and conduct audits.

The appointments are subject to approval at the general shareholders’ meeting to be held in June, Mizuho said.

Last September, the Financial Services Agency ordered Mizuho Bank to improve its operations after the bank left loans to gangsters unattended for more than two years, after learning of the problem.

The agency has also directed Mizuho to upgrade its business improvement plan, which it submitted last October, prompting the group to introduce a committee governance structure and appoint an outside board member to lead its directors.

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