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BANKING

Crunch time for Japan’s banks

Squeezed by negative rates on one side and an ageing population on the other, Japan’s banks have never had it so tough. Euromoney examines their potential to break free from these constraints.

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Illustration: Pete Ellis



There were times in the 1970s and 1980s when Euromoney’s coverage of Japan could occupy more than a third of a single edition. 

It was a mesmerizing market to report on. Through the 1970s we watched the country’s international standing as a financial centre grow, the emergence of its capital markets and the utility of its currency. Through the 1980s we studied the strategies of its banks, state and private, as they merged at home and began to take on the world. We even pictured a future in which Japan took over the IMF.