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Japan: Tamura pushes for a sovereign wealth fund

Senator talks of progress on the SWF plan, the problems he has faced promoting the idea and why he thinks it will succeed this time.

Kotaro Tamura, senator of the Liberal Democrat Party and general secretary of the panel promoting the idea of a Japanese sovereign wealth fund

"We’ll have four broad categories of investable assets: foreign exchange reserves, public pension funds, reserves in the special account managed by the ministry of finance, and funds arising from government real estate"
Kotaro Tamura

More on sovereign wealth funds

On a shelf in a third-floor office of the Sangiin-Kaikan, the house of councillors of the Japanese Diet (parliament), there sits a photograph. Five or six rows of men in dark suits stare dourly out of the picture, but in the centre of the foremost row there’s an exception: one Japanese man is resplendent in an electric-pink suit, smiling right at the camera.

Kotaro Tamura, senator of the Liberal Democrat Party and general secretary of the panel promoting the idea of a Japanese sovereign wealth fund, likes to stand out. A previous job overseeing a family business empire that included a tailoring company accounts for his taste in eye-catching suits but Tamura’s fondness for flair goes beyond mere attire.

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