Cashless Transaction Systems Lead to Increasing Complexity of Money

The daily handling of money is increasingly electronic and involves fewer actual cash exchanges, exemplified by the use of cash cards for bank accounts, credit cards, Internet banking, Internet shopping, IC tickets and electronic money. People are using such cashless transaction systems at young ages, which is posing previously unforeseen problems related to the functions and value of money. At home and school, the adverse effect on children's sense of money use and morality is a concern. Therefore, we need to teach children the importance of money through financial and economic educations in the schools.*

In ordinary life, the handling of money is becoming easier and more frequent, whereas financial crimes such as the use of nonexistent accounts and fraudulent transactions are on the rise. Many people young and old are acquiring too much consumer debt or becoming victims of financial crimes.

*   Need for the financial and economic education at schools
In 2000, the Financial Council mentioned the need for the financial education of consumers in the finance field. In 2002, we requested that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology further promote financial education in the schools. The Japanese government and the Bank of Japan designated 2005, when full deposit guarantee was removed, as "Year 1 of Financial Education" and began to promote financial education. In 2007, the Central Council for Financial Services Information issued the "Financial and Economic Education Program–Class to Nurture the Capability of Living in Society" and presented a teaching plan for financial education in elementary, middle and high schools.

A Social Contribution Initiative that Utilizes the Management Resources of Our Core Businesses

Based on these social needs for financial and economic education, Mizuho has drawn on its wide range of practical knowledge and know–how about finance nurturing through the provision of comprehensive financial services to move ahead with the provision of support for financial education.

Financial and Economic Education Promoted by Mizuho Fosters Children's Capacity to Live

In the narrow sense, financial and economic education "is the promotion of correct knowledge and understanding of personal money management and the financial system." In the broad sense, it means "nurturing attitudes that enable young people to understand the various movements of money and finance, think deeply about their own lives and society through this process, and refine their own lifestyles and sense of values so that they learn how to act independently in creating a richer livelihood and a better society" (The Central Council for Financial Services Information 2007).

To "refine their own lifestyles and sense of values" includes a broad range of elements from morality such as the importance of "trust" in our social life and the nurturing of a work ethic and an occupational perspective to the appropriate use of financial services and protecting ourselves from multiple debts and financial crimes.

As described above, the big feature of financial and economic education is that, with money as the starting point, it approaches a diversity of matters from various perspectives. As our economic and social environments become increasingly diverse and complex, we might refer to financial and economic education as education to foster each person's skills to live.

Based on the idea of deepening people's understanding of financial mechanisms from a younger age so that they can live as independent consumers in an increasingly complex and globalized society, Mizuho continues to undertake financial and economic education in the two areas of "elementary and secondary education" and "higher education."

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