A Current Look At Japans Financial And Political Risk

.. me of the worlds most powerful banks, also Japanese. The term “Mof-tan” combines the ministrys acronym with part of the Japanese word “tanto”, meaning “person in charge”. If the banks of Japan were able to persuade the “person in charge” they then would have the ability to change the rules of the game in which they play, and without a doubt these adjustments would work in their favor. This type of scandalous action would not only create an unleveled playing field but eliminated the Japanese method of monitoring and obtaining information about the validity and integrity of Japanese banking policies.

The only answer to the problem would be to eliminate the Mof-tan and create a new way to gather information about the MOFs policies. The banks were all accused of lavishly entertaining MOF officials with diversified forms of “red light district entertainment”. It appears that in the midst of their enjoyment they released classified information on approaching inspections, mainly inspections due to the banking scandal in 1995. Naotaka Saeki, chairman of the Federation of Bankers Associations of Japan and also a former MOF-tan himself, stated that as Japans financial deregulation advanced the need for such liaisons was diminishing. For an additional twist, Saeki was the current president of the Sanwa Bank Ltd, who along with Sumitomo Bank ltd, Asahi Bank Ltd, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Ltd, and the collapsed Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Ltd. were all involved with the in this very same bribery case.

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The chairman of the Federation of Bankers Associations of Japan and president of Sanwa Bank Ltd, Naotaka Saeki, was proposing a remedy to the same problem that his management caused. He went even further to say that he did not see the wining and dining as bribes because the entertainment was customary in Japan business. He was later forced to resign from both positions amongst the allegations. Next the Bank of Tokyo, Mitsubishi Ltd, reported that president Satoru Kishi chose to resign in February of 1999 and like was also forced to resign as the appointed chairman of the Federation of Bankers Associations of Japan that replaced Naotaka Saeki. In addition, the ministry answered the allegations and developments in the case as the finance minister Hiroshi Mitsuzucka was forced to step down from office. However, replacement of top executives will not guarantee that the unethical practices of the Japanese financial industry will ever end.

On April 3, 2000 the Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a stroke and entered intensive care in a Juntendo University Hospital, a downtown Tokyo hospital. After graduation from Waseda University, A 26-year-old Obuchi began his career when he inherited, as is custom, the seat in Japans powerful House of Parliament from his father. Keizo Obuchi has had more than 30 years experience in politics, first serving, as a Cabinet official in 1979, and in 1993 became the Liberal Democratic Partys secretary-general. In addition, Obuchi became the Prime Minister of Japan in 1995 and has struggled to bring Japans economy back on track. The 62-year-old Obuchi provided Japan with a record economic stimulus plan, including public works and tax breaks this bailout for Japanese banks in 1999.

Obuchi made a lasting impression on Japan and its economy. He faced a deep recession, record high bankruptcies, rising unemployment and a financial sector paralyzed by up to 1 trillion in bad dept. Obuchis hospitalization, if prolonged, is Obuchi is credited with the recovery of the worlds 2nd largest economy from over a 10-year slump. Not expected to have an instantaneous impact on the spending plan goes without mentioning the designed to fuel Japans economy through recovery. Obuchi became ill in the midst of dealing with the breakup of his coalition.

Although the ruling coalition has broken up the Liberal Democratic Party is not expected to loose any of its majority power within the Japanese Parliament. Furthermore, Obuchis reputation has been tarnished with recent polls showing a decline in support for his Cabinet. Shortly after Obuchis stroke the Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki was appointed caretaker prime minister and went right to work. However, on April 4, 2000, as an end to Obuchi illness was not seen in the near future the Parliament began discussions on who might permanently replace Obuchi as the prime Minister. Ruling politicians are in a hurry to appoint a successor to Obuchi, which must be approved by parliament, as current events in Japan and other pressing issues need to be dealt with quickly. Yoshiro Mori, a strong participant in the Liberal Democratic Party, was speculated to be the first runner up to the Prime Minister thrown. As expected, Yoshiro Mori was elected on April 5, 2000 and sworn in as the 55th Prime Minister of Japan. He had received 335 of the 488 votes cast in Japans Lower House, and 137 of 244 ballots cast in the upper house.

Although Mori lacks expertise in international policies he has a diverse experience within the Cabinet, for example, education, construction, and even with a lack in experience he was head of International trade and Industry. Mori was holding the secretary-general chair of the party, which is second-in-command, and also holds similar views and policies as Obuchi, so when elected little is expected to change in the plans of the Japanese Government. Few people believe that the transfer of power will have any major effects on Japans current position, and Mori vowed not to shake up the Japanese Cabinet and to continue with Obuchis economic plan. “My biggest responsibility is to continue economic revitalization .. making the utmost efforts to set the Japanese economy securely on the path of growth,” Mori told reporters. Bibliography SOURCES 1. Time Magazine October 30, 1995 Volume 146, No.

18 2. Time Magazine April 8, 1996 Volume 147, No 15 3. Scandal lands Japan banks go-betweens in a tight spot 4. Japan scandal may claim another top banker CNN.com ASIANOW: 5. Japans PM suffers stroke, replacement announced 6. Japanese PM Obuchi remains in coma, Cabinet expected to resign 7. Japans Parliament elects Mori as prime minister 8.

Mori begins dealing with Japans business.