TOKYO - Japan's regulators have, in effect, decided to require new disclosures by banks about their problem loans.

A committee advising the Finance Ministry decided that Japanese banks should start disclosing loans to companies that have failed.

The ministry customarily puts findings by such panels into practice.

The disclosure requirement would take effect on March 31, the end of the fiscal year.

Further Requirement

The panel also decided that Japan's 21 major lenders, comprising 11 commercial, seven trust, and three long-term credit banks, should disclose loans on which no interest has been paid for at least six months.

The panel excepted regional banks from this requirement.

The panel, the Working Committee on Disclosure by Financial Institutions, is a subcommittee of the Financial System Research Council, which advises the ministry's banking bureau.

Ministry officials as well as nonministry members of the panel briefed reporters about the panel's decisions.

The panel decided not to require banks to disclose the value of loans on which interest rates have been reduced or for which collateral has become insufficient.

None of the findings apply to credit unions.

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