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JA 21 – Regulating the Japanese Credit Market – Feb 2011

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The two articles of analysis give a first appraisal of the reform law governing finance companies for credit, which came into effect in June 2010. In the archaic financial system of the 1990s, a non-banking market that was not much regulated and proposed exorbitant interest rates coexisted with a banking system that was paralysed by its lack of competitiveness. The rise of overborrowing in Japanese households had become alarming in that context and the modernisation of the banking system was essential. The 2010 law includes three measures of modernisation: setting a strict ceiling on the interest rate, limiting the sum you can borrow, making compulsory to present a proof of income. Not only does the reform law allow a better protection of the consumers but it also makes the non-banking healthier whereas the lack of adaptation of the banks had favoured the development of such a system.

The Talking Points articles, which are translations of articles from the recent Japanese press, deal with on the one hand, Japanese firms, and more specifically with the internationalization of SMEs and the low incomes of young employees. On the other hand, more geopolitical articles tackle the question of the shaky Japanese/American alliance and finally, the question of how Japan sees Chinese foreign policy.

Japan Analysis, run by Guibourg Delamotte and Sophie Buhnik, welcomes a new team of young specialists on contemporary Japan for its writing and its translation.

 

Summary

– CLOSE UP ON THE NEWS – 

The consumer credit market in Japan: analysing the reform law governing finance companies since June 2010. (Adrienne Sala)

Regulating the non-banking market to reflect the modernisation of the banking sector? (Adrienne Sala)

– POINTS OF VIEW ON THE NEWS– 

Yamaguchi Yoshiyuki, “Internationalising small and medium enterprises will save Japan”, Sekai (translated by Amélie Corbel)

Excerpt from a dialogue between Motani Kôsuke and Oguro Kazumasa, “First let the companies raise young people’s pay!”, Voice (translated by Amélie Corbel)

Ishiba Shigeru, “North Korea, China, and Russia make a fool of Japan”, Chûô Kôron (translated by Alexandre Roy)

Tsuji Kôgo, “China’s decision making process in foreign policy: the discord between the ‘tiger and the panda’,” Sekai (translated by Alexandre Roy)