Japan's Shiozaki: safe, efficient investment a priority for GPIF

TOKYO, Sept 4 Thu Sep 4, 2014 12:26am EDT

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TOKYO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Yasuhisa Shiozaki, appointed Japan's new welfare minister in a cabinet reshuffle this week, said "safe and efficient" asset management was a priority for the country's pension fund even as the government is set to overhaul the way it invests.

Shiozaki's job will include supervising the country's $1.26 trillion pension fund. His previous calls to overhaul Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) have led to expectations he could push for it to invest in riskier assets.

"The most important thing is that people think the system is trustworthy," he told reporters on Thursday.

The GPIF has already cut its bond holdings in recent months, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing GPIF to invest more in risk assets and less in domestic bonds in order to boost returns. The fund is finalising plans to boost the weighting of domestic stocks in its portfolio as early as this month. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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