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JGBs by another name?

Government-sponsored enterprises are a large part of Japan's bond market and play an important role in the country's economy. They include:

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Founded by the merger in 1999 of the Export-Import Bank of Japan and the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, JBIC is a government-sponsored financial institution with a mandate to provide policy-based finance to support Japan's external policies and economic cooperation.

"JBIC has two core areas of operations", says Shinichi Ota, director, capital markets division, "international finance operations, which focuses on loans to promote Japanese exports and imports and provide stability in the international markets, and official development assistance loans (ODAs) that provide finance for the economic and social development of developing countries". According to Ota, the outstanding balance of these two core programmes stood at ¥21 trillion ($195 billion) at March 31 2005, with more than 60% concentrated within the Asia Pacific Region.

JBIC has contributed funds for and is actively participating in the Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF), which was established by the World Bank in 2000. More recently, in 2004 JBIC played the leading role in the establishment of the Japan greenhouse gas reduction fund, the first such fund in Asia for the specific purpose of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions using the Kyoto mechanism.

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