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LEAD: Koizumi dismisses LDP call for accounting method change.

TOKYO, April 2 Kyodo


Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Wednesday dismissed a lawmaker's call to freeze the mark-to-market accounting method on corporate securities holdings to deal with the stock market plunge.

Commenting on the call from Mitsuo Horiuchi, an executive of Koizumi's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the premier told reporters, ''I asked him to consult experts thoroughly, but I don't think a change is necessary.''

Horiuchi, who heads the party's General Council, told reporters separately he told Koizumi in a meeting at the premier's office that the LDP is considering drafting a bill to freeze the accounting method.

Some LDP lawmakers have urged the government to temporarily suspend the accounting method, under which companies must book their stockholdings at market value, in an attempt to limit the damage of the decline of stock prices, which have been hitting 20-year lows.

In fact, LDP policy chief Taro Aso said Wednesday the party is ready to submit a bill to the current Diet session to impose a partial freeze on the accounting practice.

''The LDP is ready if the project team on financial affairs in the ruling coalition agrees'' on such a bill, Aso told reporters.

With regard to Koizumi's stance on the issue, Aso said, ''We are not calling for doing away with the mark-to-market accounting method.''

''A selection system may be more realistic,'' Aso added, indicating that the planned bill would allow companies to choose whether they assess their securities holdings at market values or at purchase prices when they close their books.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Apr 7, 2003
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