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Japan panel rejects oversight agency

THE BALTIMORE SUN

TOKYO -- After weeks of government pledges to clean up Japan's scandal-plagued securities markets, a high-level advisory panel rejected the idea yesterday of an independent agency to regulate the industry. It proposed instead that the Ministry of Finance retain its role as overseer.

The panel, which presented its recommendations last night to Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, suggested that the Finance Ministry create a new Securities and Financial Examination Committee, which would function as a kind of Securities and Exchange Commission in Japan.

The recommendations were seen as falling short of broad reform in an industry that has been rocked by charges of stock manipulation.

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