(AP) - The head of Japan's central bank apologized Tuesday for an investment scandal that triggered calls for his resignation, and said the bank has set up a committee to review investment rules for its officials.
Gov. Toshihiko Fukui also said he wanted to serve out the rest of his term through March 2008, reports Trend.
"I am very, very sorry. I deeply apologize to the people," he said at a news conference. "The Bank of Japan's compliance rules have been widely criticized. This must be taken seriously."
Fukui has come under fire since stating last week that he had invested 10 million yen, or about $86,000, seven years ago in a fund managed by Yoshiaki Murakami, who was arrested June 5 for alleged insider trading.
Fukui reiterated that there was nothing wrong with the investment and that he would not use proceeds from its sale for personal gain, although he declined to expand on how he would use it.
"I have always acted with strong integrity," he said.
Fukui, who applied to sell his shares in the fund in February, has not broken the law or violated the Bank of Japan's internal regulations by investing in the Murakami Fund in 1999, when Fukui worked at Fujitsu Research Institute, a private think tank.
But some people have questioned the ethics of holding onto such investments after he became central bank governor.
Kyodo News agency reported earlier Tuesday that the value of Fukui's investment more than doubled in nearly seven years to 22 million yen, (US$190,000; euro151,000). But the final profit won't be known until the final sale settlement is completed later this month.
Fukui said he would fully disclose details of the investment at a separate news conference later Tuesday.
He has already acknowledged he made tens of thousands of dollars a year from the fund at a time when Japanese have earned virtually no interest on their savings because of the Bank of Japan's zero-interest rate policy.
The timing of Fukui's sale also raised questions because it came before the BOJ's landmark decision in March to end its super-easy monetary policy, a decision that could be seen as negative for Japan's investment climate.