Ex-MUFG CEO reveals background of investment in Morgan Stanley

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TOKYO — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group invested $9 billion in Morgan Stanley amid the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, due to the importance of “economic security” between Japan and the U.S., former MUFG CEO Nobuyuki Hirano said.

In an exclusive interview with NIKKEI Financial, Hirano, a top Japanese banker of international caliber, revealed the whole picture behind MUFG’s capital tie-up negotiations with the American investment bank and discussed the problems of and expectations for Japan’s economy and financial sector, which are mired in difficulties, describing his opinions as “my last words.”

Hirano, who was a CEO and chairman of MUFG, and president of its core banking unit, resigned from the board of the biggest Japanese lender at its general shareholders meeting on June 29.

Edited excerpts from the interview follow.

Q: MUFG has made Morgan Stanley an equity method affiliate, holding a 20% stake. This…

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