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Financial Crises and the Central Bank: Lessons from Japan during the 1920s


  • Masato Shizume

    (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)


A series of financial crises following a boom during World War I marked the turning point for the emergence of prudential policy in Japan. An economic backlash after the war created mounting bad loans. After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced a special treatment facility for the devastated area. The BOJ hoped to rescue solvent but illiquid financial institutions, but the facility was abused by banks that were already in financial distress, paving the way toward a financial crisis. Banking panic spread nationwide in the spring of 1927. In 1928, the authorities introduced new arrangements for prudential policy with mergers and acquisitions, new types of regulations, and dual inspection by the Ministry of Finance and the BOJ. These arrangements restored financial stability while imposing a new constraint on monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Masato Shizume, 2016. "Financial Crises and the Central Bank: Lessons from Japan during the 1920s," Working Papers 1611, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wap:wpaper:1611

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Masato Shizume & Masayoshi Tsurumi, 2016. "Modernizing the financial system in Japan during the 19th century: National Banks in Japan in the Context of Free Banking," Working Papers 1607, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    2. Masato Shizume, 2009. "The Japanese Economy during the Interwar Period: Instability in the Financial System and the Impact of the World Depression," Bank of Japan Review Series 09-E-2, Bank of Japan.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masato Shizume, 2017. "A History of the Bank of Japan, 1882-2016," Working Papers 1719, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.

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