Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet  
Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister TOP

Statement by Prime Minister Taro Aso on Enactment
of the Amended Act on Special Measures
for Strengthening Financial Functions

December 12, 2008

The amended Act on Special Measures for Strengthening Financial Functions has been enacted.

Regional economies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are currently facing a very severe situation as the external environment fluctuates amid the turmoil in the global financial markets that originated in the subprime loan problem.

Against this backdrop, the government has advanced various efforts to support borrowers as part of measures for micro-sized companies and SMEs, including the allocation of 9 trillion yen for credits and lending.

These efforts and efforts to support lenders, such as financial institutions, are two wheels of the same axle, and thus must be advanced together.

It has been a matter of concern that the financial intermediary function of financial institutions, lenders of funds, may decline under the current severe economic conditions. The amended Act will be an important safety net for the efforts that the government has advanced thus far to prevent the decline in the financial intermediary function.

The purpose of the amended Act is to enhance the financial institutions' financial intermediary function and to support regional economies and SMEs as they face the severe situation. In order to thoroughly meet the purpose, the Act, with its amendment, has now established a scheme to enable even smoother and more prompt equity participation of the government.

I thus will work to ensure that the amended Act, which was enacted today, will be enforced as soon as possible.

The government will continue to take bold responses to the current severe economic condition, through various measures to smooth finances of the regional economies and SMEs, which are the foundation of our nation's economy.