Task force may ask banks to write-off 220 billion JAL loans

Japanese finance minister Hirohisa Fujii said yesterday the direction of how to restructure Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) may come ''within the next several days.''

The government had on September 25 set up a task force of corporate turnaround experts for reconstructing the ailing carrier.

According to media reports the task force has presented a range of plans, one of which is a request to four of the five main creditor banks to write off 220 billion ($2.3 billion) in loans.

The four creditor banks are the Development Bank of Japan, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

The task force meeting, attended by Fujii and minister for land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, Seiji Maehara, concluded that all the plans required the use of public money.

The meeting was the first ministerial consultation about JAL after the new government came to power last month.