Japan: Watanabe invites foreign investors to come and play
With gross public debt more than 170% of GDP and domestic investors increasingly diversifying overseas, the country is keen to attract foreign investors, even as it struggles to reduce government bond issuance and stave off roll-over risk. Hiroshi Watanabe, Japan’s vice-minister of finance for international affairs, speaks to Peter Lee about Japan’s funding policy and broader economic prospects.
"Our target is not only to sell bonds to foreign buy-and-hold investors, but to get foreign participants to come into the Tokyo markets to play. Japanese investors still have a home-country bias. But if all bonds are held by Japanese, with common expectations and analysis, then this leads to potential illiquidity and volatility" Hiroshi Watanabe
OVERSEAS DEBT INVESTOR relations efforts are still new and rather strange for Japan’s key financial policy makers.