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Finance

Glitch-plagued Mizuho to decline reins of key Japan banking lobby

CEO Sakai has delayed handover over recent ATM outages

Mizuho Financial Group CEO Tatsufumi Sakai was originally supposed to become chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association on April 1.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The head of Mizuho Financial Group plans to turn down the chairmanship of Japan's leading banking-industry group, instead focusing on his company's recent information system troubles.

President and group CEO Tatsufumi Sakai was originally slated to take over as chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association on April 1 from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Chairman Kanetsugu Mike. The post usually rotates every year among top executives from Japan's megabank trio, which also includes Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

Sakai had previously delayed the transition after four system disruptions over roughly two weeks in February and March caused widespread ATM outages and delayed foreign-currency-denominated wire transfers.

He is now considering turning down the post altogether, believing that it would be difficult for him to lead Japan's banking lobby in light of Mizuho's recent woes. He is expected to make a final decision after receiving feedback from an independent panel the company set up in March.

Mizuho last turned down the JBA's chairmanship in 2011, also over system issues.

Mike will continue to lead the association for now. Sumitomo Mitsui President and CEO Makoto Takashima is expected to take over as JBA chairman in July.

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