More Transparency Needed In Corporate Rebuilding: Yanagisawa

June 8, 2001

TOKYO (Nikkei)--The government needs to draw up clear-cut guidelines to enhance the transparency of corporate rehabilitation through such means as bank debt waivers, Hakuo Yanagisawa, minister of state for the Financial Services Agency, said Thursday.

Speaking at the Future of Asia conference sponsored by The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Yanagisawa said, "Greater transparency is needed" for such procedures. He also stressed the importance of devising ways of separating good from nonperforming loans in each business area.

Former Thai Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Deputy Chairman Kenji Yoshizawa, and Asia Development Bank Institute Dean Masaru Yoshitomi joined Yanagisawa in a lecture/debate titled "Asian Financial Markets: Requirements for Attaining Maturity."

Thanong said it is necessary to liberalize capital flows across Asia and to set up a monitoring system to prevent a future currency crisis. Japan and China must join forces in stabilizing the markets, he added.

Yoshizawa said that, realistically, the cleanup of the bad-loan mess in Japan will take at least two to three years, considering the size of corporate borrowers' negative net worth and their capital reserves for debt payment.

In the following lecture/debate on the Bush administration's policy toward Asia, Karl D. Jackson, former assistant to the vice president for national security, said the new U.S. administration will show active support for the defense of Taiwan, but will resolutely oppose Taiwanese independence. He added the U.S. should take the lead in urging China to abide by international laws to avoid isolation.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Friday morning edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.