TOKYO – Japan's trade minister says he is returning two months of his salary after a government-backed lender reported $2.3 billion in shady loans.
Hiroshige Seko, who heads the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, mentioned the action at a conference Thursday while discussing problems with corporate governance.
The Shoko Chukin Bank's president said Wednesday that he would step down to take responsibility for the more than 4,600 irregular actions involving at least 265 billion yen ($2.3 billion) at the lender for small and medium-sized companies.
The ministry is in charge of overseeing Shoko Chukin. It said an investigation found the improper actions occurred in 100 of its offices and that further cases were possible.
The violations involved faking documents to allow companies to take advantage of government-funded low interest loans.