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International Dimensions of Japanese Insolvency Law


  • Bhala, Raj

    (George Washington U)


This paper offers an introduction and overview of the international aspects of Japanese insolvency law. There are three international dimensions to Japan's insolvency law: jurisdiction of Japanese courts; the status of foreign claimants; and recognition and enforcement of foreign proceedings. These dimensions are characterized by a distinctly territorial approach. This inward-looking way of handling insolvency cases is incongruous with developments in the comparative and international law context. It is also at odds with broader globalization trends, some of which are evident in Japan's economic crisis. Analogies to international trade law are useful: the post-Uruguay Round dispute resolution mechanism has insights for the problem of jurisdiction; the famous national treatment principle is a basis for critiquing the status foreign claimants have in Japanese insolvency proceedings; and trade negotiations might be a model for expanding recognition and enforcement of foreign proceedings. As a corollary, the relationship between the extant insolvency regime and Japanese banks?many of which are internationally active?is explored. Problem banks are at the heart of the economic crisis. Yet, the insolvency law regime has not been applied to failed or failing banks, partly on grounds of the systemic risk that would be triggered by a stay of creditor proceedings. The reluctance to use the regime in bank cases is open to question on a number of grounds. Similarly, the failure to develop a harmonized set of international bank bankruptcy rules to avoid BCCI-type liquidation problems is addressed, and a proposal for proceeding in this direction is offered.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhala, Raj, 2001. "International Dimensions of Japanese Insolvency Law," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(1), pages 131-179, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:19:y:2001:i:1:p:131-79

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holthausen, Robert W. & Leftwich, Richard W. & Mayers, David, 1987. "The effect of large block transactions on security prices: A cross-sectional analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 237-267, December.
    2. Anil Bangia & Francis X. Diebold & Til Schuermann & John D. Stroughair, 1998. "Modeling Liquidity Risk With Implications for Traditional Market Risk Measurement and Management," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-062, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    3. Bertsimas, Dimitris & Lo, Andrew W., 1998. "Optimal control of execution costs," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-50, April.
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    JEL classification:

    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation


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