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The CEOs speak out: Mizuho Corporate Bank

Hidetake Nakamura, managing executive officer and head of international banking unit.

Can Japan’s megabanks ignore the devil's whisper

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Mizuho Corporate bank hit the headlines when it invested $1.2 billion in Merrill Lynch in January. The group’s CEO was unavailable for comment, but Hidetake Nakamura, head of the corporate bank’s international division, stepped up. He discusses the Merrill Lynch deal in this month’s main feature on the megabanks; in this extended interview he talks about the Japanese banking recovery, the group’s other investments and Mizuho’s global objectives.

Q: Before the so-called lost decade the Japanese banks were on the verge of becoming top global names. Most market participants agree that much ground has been recovered in the past 10 years, but how far do you think the recovery has really come?

It’s certainly important to understand the track record of the Japanese banks. I think around 1984 was perhaps the first time Japanese banks began to be treated as among the top-ranked institutions in international markets, I believe that’s when we got AAA ratings and were recognized as an international force.

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