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An : the Banque Nationale de Belgique as a model for the Bank of Japan


It is established historical knowledge that the Bank of Japan (1882) was modelled upon the Banque Nationale de Belgique (1850). In this article, I point out how Japan s recurrent frustration with foreign dependence nurtured a social Darwinist view of international politics and finance: Japan s capability to survive in the world was believed to be dependent on its capability to assimilate foreign knowledge and institutions. In the field of finance, Matsukata Masayoshi, Japan s most enlightened financial policy maker at the time, turned to Belgium. I explain that Matsukata was dedicated to the emulation of Belgium s financial infrastructure, in which several public institutions would each be responsible for a specific area of the credit system. I indicate how efforts to adopt Belgian institutions and banking ideas proceeded meticuluously; yet, in the end, Japanese and Belgian finance developed along quite distinct pathways.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Financial History Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 02 (October)
Pages: 179-196

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Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:13:y:2006:i:02:p:179-196_00
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