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FSA to compile data on progress of bad loan disposal.

TOKYO, June 15 Kyodo

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and economy-related Cabinet ministers agreed Friday to have the Financial Services Agency (FSA) compile data on the progress of disposal of the bad loans crippling the banking system, FSA chief Hakuo Yanagisawa said.

They agreed that the latest data regarding the disposal of the bad loans should be compiled through a series of hearings by FSA officials with banks before the summit between Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush later this month, Yanagisawa told a press conference after a meeting between Koizumi and the ministers.

Those attending at the meeting were Yanagisawa, Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa, Heizo Takenaka, minister in charge of economy and fiscal policy, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda.

Participants in the meeting were dissatisfied with the way banks are dealing with their bad loan problems, Yanagisawa said.

''Although banks are supposed to alleviate bad loans within two to three years' time, it is hard for outsiders to verify how far those bad loans have been disposed of,'' a minister was quoted as telling the meeting.

''Banks have not made as great headway in disposing of bad loans as they were expected to do,'' another participant was quoted as saying.

Yanagisawa said he expressed his readiness to amass new data by monitoring implementation of the management rehabilitation programs submitted by the banks that received public money to replenish their depleted capital bases, they said.

Japan has funneled more than 10 trillion yen in public funds into banks' impaired capital accounts since March 1998 to keep their depleted capital bases from crimping their ability to provide credits to businesses.

The FSA is now seeking to devise new measures to facilitate the disposal of bad loans, Yanagisawa said.

But Yanagisawa said, ''The bad loan woes are not the biggest factor inducing the current recession, so the situation requires calm analysis.''

Koizumi is expected to brief Bush on the progress of Japan's efforts to devise the disposal steps during their June 30 summit at Camp David, Maryland, as the bad-loan issue is likely to be high on the agenda at the Japan-U.S. summit.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jun 18, 2001
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