Japan Plans Reform Of Financial Markets

TOKYO - The Ministry of Finance has drawn up a five-point plan to help ensure the integrity of Japan's financial markets, recently damaged by a series of brokerage and banking scandals, Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said.

The program would help improve market transparency, toughen penalties, reinforce inspection and supervisory systems, and ensure investor self-responsibility, he said. Also, regulations would be reviewed.

Mr. Hashimoto told the Japanese parliament that the ministry was working on details.

Banks and Brokers Included

He said it was necessary to set up a system that could oversee both the securities and banking markets, because they are becoming more interwoven.

The Japanese television network NHK reported that Mr. Hashimoto also pledged to tighten controls on nonbank financial institutions.

Some major Japanese banks have said their employees issued false deposit certificates to clients who then used them as collateral to borrow from other sources, mainly nonbank financial institutions.

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