The Bellwether Series 2013: Japan has now finished. We would like to thank all attendees for their  participation in the discussion on the day.



Now in its fourth year, The Bellwether Series 2013: Japan will convene strategic finance decision makers including senior policymakers, business leaders and leading thinkers to examine the critical financial challenges facing Asia and in particular Japan.

In 2012, The Bellwether Series: Japan drew an audience of over 150 senior policymakers, institutional investors, heads of banks and financial institutions, senior officials from regulatory bodies in Japan. The programme explored the global financial landscape--Europe in particular--and what it means for Japan's financial restoration. The panels included senior representatives from the IMF, ADB, Financial Times, Chief Economists from Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, Japan's banking community and a closing session with Motohisa Furukawa, Minister for National Policy and Minister of State for Economist and Fiscal Policy.


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Financial systems in the Asia-Pacific region deserve credit for their resilience in troubled times. They have weathered America’s fiscal squabbles and Europe’s financial squalls remarkably well. Asia-Pacific lenders, especially from Japan and Australia, have helped to fill the gaps left by retreating euro-area banks. Asian investors are venturing their money elsewhere in the region, helping to knit their economies more closely together. And foreign investors, starved of safe assets, are flocking to the region’s bonds, which were issued in record quantities in 2012.

But the global financial crisis proved that tranquillity is no excuse for complacency. The Asia-Pacific region remains heavily exposed to shifts in global financial sentiment. It must also contend with swings in global regulation, as new rules promulgated in America and Europe begin to pinch elsewhere in the world.

The growing success of Asia-Pacific’s bond markets is a potential worry for the region’s banks, which may respond to the threat of disintermediation by cutting corners or lowering standards. And in venturing overseas, the region’s lenders and investors demonstrate the strength of their balance sheets, but also the paucity of opportunities at home.

The task ahead for Asia’s financial system is to help the region’s economies evolve and diversify, which is different from merely helping them grow. The challenge is to promote new firms and industries, not merely cater to incumbents. Asia needs a financial system that makes better use of the region’s savings in the service of its development—a financial system that, in short, gives credit where it’s due. The Bellwether Series: Japan will explore these issues and what they mean for Japan’s future.


Download the EIU report on
global investor sentiment highlights confidence in Asia-pacific growth
  Download The Economist special report on
International Banking

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