The Japanese Banker Who Can Say No

Shinsei's Masamoto Yashiro is raising hackles in Tokyo

In 1997, Masamoto Yashiro was planning a well-deserved retirement in London after spending eight years running Citibank's successful retail banking operation in Japan. But Yashiro, 71, is not taking high tea or hanging around London art galleries. Instead he finds himself back in Tokyo, as the chief executive officer of money-center Shinsei Bank Ltd. A plum post? Only if one's idea of job satisfaction is being branded a "national enemy" by Japanese politicians. Yashiro's sin? Telling deadbeat corporate borrowers to get lost.

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