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Banking in Japan: Will "Too Big To Fail" Prevail?


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  • Rixtel, Adrian van
  • Wiwattanakantang, Yupana
  • Souma, Toshiyuki
  • Suzuki, Kazunori


This paper reviews the evolution of the Japanese banking sector and the development of the banking crisis in Japan in the context of "too big to fail." It describes the deterioration of the Japanese financial sector caused by the bad loan problems and the failure of policymakers to get a grip on the underlying problems. Even at the start of the new century, Japanese policymakers still continue to struggle to find the right policy response to tackle the banking problems and how to avoid moral hazard behavior intertwined with "too big to fail" concerns. The increasing concentration in the Japanese banking industry, which is now dominated by five huge financial conglomerates, should make it more difficult to definitely end "too big to fail" in Japanese prudential policy. In this respect, we believe that the "too big to fail" policy in Japan will prevail.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CEI Working Paper Series with number 2002-16.

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Length: 53 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2002-16

Note: This paper is forthcoming in Too-Big-Too-Fail: Policies and Practices in Government Bailouts, edited by Benton Gup and to be published by Quorum Books in 2003.
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Keywords: Too big to fail; Banking crisis; Japan;

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  1. Yamori, Nobuyoshi & Murakami, Akinobu, 1999. "Does bank relationship have an economic value?: The effect of main bank failure on client firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 115-120, October.
  2. Eijffinger, S.C.W., 1992. "The Japanese financial system and monetary policy: A descriptive review," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-152896, Tilburg University.
  3. Saito, Makoto & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2001. "Financial Crises As the Failure of Arbitrage: Implications for Monetary Policy," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 239-270, February.
  4. van Rixtel,Adrian, 2002. "Informality and Monetary Policy in Japan," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521781794.
  5. Fukao, Mitsuhiro, 2001. "Financial Deregulations, Weakness of Market Discipline, and Market Development: Japan's Experience and Lessons for Developing Countries," CEI Working Paper Series 2001-17, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Hoshi, Takeo, 2002. "The convoy system for insolvent banks: how it originally worked and why it failed in the 1990s," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 155-180, April.
  7. Okina, Kunio & Shirakawa, Masaaki & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2001. "The Asset Price Bubble and Monetary Policy: Japan's Experience in the Late 1980s and the Lessons: Background Paper," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 395-450, February.
  8. Mark M. Spiegel & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2000. "The evolution of "too-big-to-fail" policy in Japan: evidence from market equity values," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 00-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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Cited by:
  1. Pop, Adrian & Pop, Diana, 2009. "Requiem for market discipline and the specter of TBTF in Japanese banking," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 1429-1459, November.


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