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Press Conference By Aso Taro, Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Minister Of Finance, And Minister Of State For Financial Services - September 11, 2020

Date 13/10/2020

[Questions and answers:]

Q.

I would like to ask about NTT DoCoMo’s e-money service and DoCoMo accounts. It has been confirmed as of yesterday that 18 million yen in losses had been sustained from unauthorized withdrawals. DoCoMo stated at yesterday’s press conference that it is negotiating with banks to fully compensate victims. As Minister for Financial Services, do you have comments on this case and on ways to prevent recurrences?

A.

Speaking from the perspective of user protection, the Financial Services Agency believes firstly that full compensation for everyone who lost money is important. From the press release and such, I am aware that DoCoMo has said it will be working with its partner banks to try to fully compensate victims. Secondly, it is essential that further losses from such improper withdrawals be prevented. DoCoMo and the banks are now suspending new registrations for DoCoMo accounts and halting charges from bank accounts with inadequate authentication methods. Thirdly, we must prevent recurrences. If money can be slipped out that easily, then it will be. I have heard that up to 300,000 yen per month can be charged from bank accounts. DoCoMo and banks must take such steps as introducing two-stage authentication to prevent recurrences, in other words, making it so that users cannot log in without a pre-authenticated reservation or a personal identification number as well as a one-time passcode. In any case, I think compensation needs to be paid out, further losses stopped, and recurrences prevented. If financial institutions are counting on fund transfer service providers not affiliated with financial institutions – NTT DoCoMo in this particular case – to do what would be expected of banks, this could become a chink in the armor. Companies offering similar services and banks should not regard this as someone else’s problem; with fund transfer service providers and other non-conventional finance companies entering the market, making preparations to ensure these companies are properly handling matters in the same way financial institutions themselves are will help prevent wrongdoing.

Q.

Nomura Securities received a business improvement order last year following an information leak, and it announced yesterday that there had been a new leak of customer information. As Minister for Financial Services, what is your take on this?

A.

I know that the company has announced a leak of customer information. I think it is extremely important – and not just for securities companies – that people be able to trust and have confidence that customer information is being properly managed. The Financial Services Agency insists on proper management of customer information and, because trust is the biggest issue for securities companies and such incidents will inevitably undermine trust, they must manage information appropriately. Efforts to manage information must be stepped up, especially because so much of it is in electronic form now.