Mizuho Financial to promote Seiji Imai as chairman

© Kyodo News

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is planning to appoint Deputy President Seiji Imai as its new chairman to replace Yasuhiro Sato in April following a series of technical disruptions, corporate sources said Thursday.

The appointment of Imai, 59, who is 10 years younger than the current chairman, is seen as part of the Japanese banking group's efforts to transform its corporate culture and restore public confidence.

Mizuho Bank, one of the country's megabanks, has been hit by 10 system failures since February last year, with transactions temporarily suspended at about 80 percent of its ATMs in one case. In the latest incident, business clients experienced trouble using online banking services on Tuesday.

The financial group has already decided to promote Masahiro Kihara, a 56-year-old senior executive officer, as its new president to replace Tatsufumi Sakai, 62, sources with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week.