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  • Japan & Korea: Domestic Reform & Geopolitical Shifts: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    at least initially was there are two countries in the world which can take big decisions quickly and fix huge global problems and those are the U S and China Europe couldn t it India couldn t do it Japan couldn t do it The Taiwan issue which had been the big issue between the United States and China was eased by the presence of a new administration in Taiwan and policy changes in Beijing and Secretary Gates drastically cut the part of the defense budget that was directed at China However the Obama administration s early optimism about the relationship with China gave way to a sense of betrayal over China s lack of cooperation at the Copenhagen climate change summit The Chinese dragged their feet on Iran sanctions They set up new rules on foreign direct investment providing that basically if you want to do business in our market you give us all your technology And that s not what Japanese or European or American business executives thought the deal was Our markets are open We don t require the Chinese to give up all their secrets in order to operate in our markets So this had a very fundamental consequence Chinese policies in the last two years have absolutely destroyed the business lobby which had brought the U S Europe and China together in important ways Dr Overholt said In reaction to Obama s absolutely innocuous arms sale to Taiwan China had a huge fit and cut off all military to military ties Beijing failed to react to North Korean sinking of a South Korean navy ship and to shelling of civilians at YongPyeong and was assertive in pressing claims in the Yellow Sea the Senkakus and the South China Sea Admittedly India s claims to territorial waters have been even broader so the situation is not entirely one sided he said But the Chinese have fundamentally changed the equation And this has revitalized the spirit of the U S Japan Alliance though it hasn t really changed many of the underlying fundamentals If there is any consensus in American foreign policy it s that everybody wants Japanese economic success everybody wants a very influential Japanese role in Asia and everybody wants a strong American Japanese alliance But there is also a consensus that the Japanese end of the alliance at this point is pretty weak and pretty ineffectual If you go to Tokyo everything is working Everybody looks good But underneath what s going on reminds me of Thoreau s famous sentence Most men lead lives of quiet desperation Anybody who is 45 or 50 years old in Japan knows they re not going to get the full value of their pension The value of their home went down 11 percent last year and the value of their stocks is going nowhere The stock market is about a third of where it was back in the 80s People are alienated from the political system Can Japan

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  • Wealth Managers Grapple with Japan's Shifting Generations: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    it is very difficult to believe that the yen is going to keep strong for long Some time in the near future China is going to have to finance the reserves in the international capital markets and at that point people who currently park their money in JGBs will sell them and buy Chinese government bonds Mr Matsumoto said Big financial institutions he added are unlikely to make changes in this direction any time soon given the key role they play in realizing the government s policy aims with respect to the JGB market But retail investors must diversify into investments outside of Japan whether in equities or fixed income securities I don t care what the government thinks about it as long as we are not punished by the FSA the Financial Services Agency he concluded That s how we think we can change and we will change how the Japanese retail money will be managed going forward in Japan When Walter Altherr of Mizuho Securities USA began working at a brokerage firm in Japan in 1992 his background was in commercial banking There was a torrent of information available every day in the newspapers and he was determined to make sense of it But the advice he got from colleagues was somewhat conflicting Some people told him to pay attention only to views of the Japanese people in the company while others advised him to pay attention only to the views of the foreigners He concluded that the two schools of opinion were based on contrasting assumptions about the nature of Japanese business culture On the one hand Japanese business people who were experts in the myriad rules and customs on how things are done in Japan many of them unique to Japan looked at foreigners who hadn t mastered these arts and decided that the foreigners don t really know what s happening Implicitly they assumed that Japan would not change in any meaningful way On the other hand many of the foreigners coming to Japan had other international experience and knew broad patterns for how markets worked in other places Many of the Japanese being a little bit more provincial weren t aware of it and so the foreigners said the Japanese didn t understand what was going on And the foreigners implicitly assumed that Japan would converge basically they would finally get their act together join the party and become like the rest of the world In certain respects the convergence that foreigners expected has taken place Thirty years ago a fund manager in Japan who wanted to buy five year paper had a very small menu to choose from debentures offered by three long term credit banks When buying a debenture of a given term yield and duration they wouldn t specify which issuer they were going to get They wouldn t know until the next day when the order cleared what they d actually purchased All had identical terms and managers viewed all three banks as having zero default risk Two of the three banks were eventually placed under temporary government controls Japanese practices had to change In other respects It is I think much of the West that has become like Japan with tumbling real estate prices concerns about financial system solvency and widespread voter disaffection Mr Altherr continued Mrs Watanabe who stuck to bank deposits when the studies agreed that equities offered the only chance to make a fortune was maybe smarter than a lot of these foreign strategists Offline retail brokerages have not fared well over the last 20 years in Japan he continued Returns on equity securities haven t been very good Risk has been high Internet and discount brokerage firms have challenged the traditional equity model As for fixed income securities the basic business model of the intermediary whether it s offering a bank account or an insurance product stops working when interest rates decline towards zero You can t really take that person and say We re a zero interest rate environment so your yield on your deposit is negative 1 percent People aren t stupid They would just put their money into a safe deposit box With the Big Bang in the late 1990s restrictions on foreign securities began to be eased and a lot of Japanese money began going abroad into high yielding instruments and high growth equities Much of it was invested in resource related countries Australia Canada South Africa This has gone out well I think for most of the last decade It remains to see how it will go in the future Mr Altherr said Foreign equities are an area where offline brokers have something of a competitive advantage in Japan he concluded This is because they can offer more personal attention to customers many of whom will be unfamiliar with overseas investments Moderator Fred Katayama of Thomson Reuters began the Q A Should government stay out altogether in terms of the financial markets Or is there a role for it to play Government should be out answered Mr Matsumoto Altogether asked Mr Katayama We don t need government You ve got the history of Japanese corporations Whenever government tried to get involved tried to protect disaster Mr Matsumoto said Electronics makers were left alone and did well the telecom and financial services industries were not and they lost Professor Ogawa agreed though she noted that the government did actually prove to be a remarkably successful agent in rebuilding Japan after the destruction of the war As for alternatives sovereign wealth funds aren t the answer she added It s only substituting one form of government for the other Nor are 401 k retirement accounts as currently structured because in Japan they are taxed which eliminates the incentive to use them And Japanese equities suffer from corporate governance problems with public companies not necessarily responsive to shareholders in the same way that companies in other countries would be Walter Oki do you

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  • Post-Crisis Wealth Management: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    part from individuals to governments which has consequences for tax policy and job creation among other things To succeed in this new world investors need to be more forward looking The capital asset pricing model which holds that prices tend to revert towards a mean and correlations across asset classes and asset prices tend to remain stable can no longer be relied on as an article of faith there has been a consistent belief that the future will replicate the past but this belief is not a good guide for the future The chances of earning a mean or median return will be lower than CAPM contemplates So will the absolute return probably across all asset classes We think it s important that you look globally rather than locally he emphasized The home markets may not be the place of the highest expected or risk adjusted return Finally we are seeing increasingly investors think about the downside and about how to hedge against tail risk Mr Hodge concluded For 30 years in the U S people believed that the value of their home could never go down and obviously we have learned a very harsh lesson in that respect But the individual whose 401 k became his 201 k and now perhaps is his 301 k is saying I can t go through this one more time And that searing experience tends to influence people s behavior for a very long period of time measured not in quarters or years but oftentimes in decades And we would contend that that is the new normal the world in which we live in today Presider Wilbur Ross of WL Ross Co began the Q A You talked about debt migrating from the private sector to the public sector How worried are you about there being a sovereign debt default By no means are we out of the woods Mr Hodge replied Greece is probably in terms of their fiscal balance sheet safe for another couple of years but ultimately they have an enormous amount of debt which they will be called upon to refinance There are pressures elsewhere as well for example in the Irish banking system We don t go long Greece Not yet although the yields look very compelling I would say don t be fooled he said Audience members posed their questions Are emerging markets caught up in a super bubble or are they just experiencing higher growth and happy days are here again It s not happy days are here again Mr Hodge answered Their economies ability to consume what they produce is much better than what it has ever been But nevertheless without the U S and European consumer the growth rates of the emerging economies in all probability will slow What is your view of China in terms of interest rates debt and growth rates China s wealth class is rising and its middle class is rapidly growing which is something that in the longer horizon

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  • Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    Governor Naoki Inose April 15 2013 Read More Business Policy 3 11 Disaster and Change in Japan March 12 2013 Read More Business The Rewards of Taking Risks in the Age of Innovation March 8 2013 Read More Business Policy Every Nation for Itself Japan s Place in a G Zero World February 12 2013 Read More Business Policy Japan s Energy Policy After Fukushima January 24 2013 Read More Business Policy NAIIC Report on Fukushima Lessons Learned Next Steps Forward October 17 2012 Read More Business Reviving Wendy s Ernest Higa on Entrepreneurship in Japan October 3 2012 Read More Business Policy Trans Pacific Partnership Pros Cons May 17 2012 Read More Business Policy U S Perspectives on the Trans Pacific Partnership Japan April 17 2012 Read More Business Policy The Yen s Impact on the Recovery of Japan the World Economy March 20 2012 Read More 1 2 3 4 5 Calendar of Events February 2016 S M T W Th F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Language Center Event Nihongo Chat Support

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  • Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    December 1 2011 Read More Business Policy Operation Tomodachi Support Compassion Commitment November 15 2011 Read More Business Policy Innovation in Open Networks Innovation in Open Networks Read More Business Policy U S Japan Cooperation after 3 11 Report on the CSIS Keidanren Partnership for Recovery Task Force October 26 2011 Read More Business Policy What s Next Change in Tokyo the World Economy October 3 2011 Read More Business Policy Greed vs Fear Making Sense of the Market Crash September 28 2011 Read More Business Japanese Companies U S Employment Law Liability How to Avoid Court Stay Out of the Headlines September 13 2011 Read More Business Policy Reimagining Japan The Quest for a Future that Works September 8 2011 Read More Business Policy Why Japan May Surprise the World Rebirth after the Tohoku Quake May 10 2011 Read More Business Revitalizing Japan s Capital Market and Entrepreneurship after the Quake April 14 2011 Read More 1 2 3 4 5 Calendar of Events February 2016 S M T W Th F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

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  • Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    LLC and Chairman Japan Society shares his thoughts on where our swiftly shifting economic world is going and how to make the best of it Read More Business Policy Ambassador Roos at Japan Society December 14 2010 U S Ambassador to Japan John Roos spoke at Japan Society about the U S Japan alliance and the complex challenges that the two countries share in a time of rapidly evolving economic and geopolitical dynamics in East Asia and across the globe Read More Business Policy Wealth Managers Grapple with Japan s Shifting Generations November 10 2010 A distinguished panel of financial markets experts joined forces at Japan Society to explore the changing dynamics of retail investing in Japan Read More Business Policy Industrial Structure Vision The Way Forward for Japanese Industry July 20 2010 Tadao Yanase Director of the Industrial Revitalization Division at the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry visited Japan Society to discuss the newly unveiled Industrial Structure Vision 2010 a roadmap of the way forward for Japanese industry Read More Business Minimizing Legal Compliance Risks Strategies for Multinational Financial Services Firms Operating in the U S May 25 2010 A distinguished panel of attorneys met at Japan Society to review current issues in corporate compliance with particular emphasis on the securities industry Read More Business Policy Celebrating 150 Years of U S Japan Trade Relations Promoting the Next 150 Years of U S Japan Business Collaboration May 19 2010 In observance of the 150th anniversary of Japan s 1860 mission to the U S Japan Society convened a group of distinguished authorities on Japanese business to discuss the history and future of trade relations between the two countries Read More Business The Japan China U S Triangle Competing Partners April 20 2010 A distinguished panel of attorneys shared

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  • Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    the global financial crisis and to share his thoughts on what might come next Read More Business Policy Wanted A New Engine for Global Economic Recovery November 3 2009 A distinguished panel of financial markets experts met at Japan Society to discuss what comes next as the world s economies strive to recover from the shocks of the Great Recession Read More Business How Foreign Companies are Remaking the American Dream October 28 2009 New York Times reporter Micheline Maynard discussed themes from her most recent book The Selling of the American Economy How Foreign Companies are Remaking the American Dream Read More Business Boeing Japan A Strategic Partnership for 21st Century Aerospace Leadership October 27 2009 Nicole Piasecki President of Boeing Japan visited Japan Society to discuss the Boeing Japan relationship in the context of Japan s changing political dynamics Read More Business Financial Reporting Reliability Transparency Activities of FASB the ASBJ during the Financial Crisis October 20 2009 Robert Herz Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Ikuo Nishikawa Chairman of the Accounting Standards Board of Japan visited Japan Society to discuss the drive towards convergence in international accounting standards and the response of the standard setting community to the global financial crisis Read More Business Chris Flowers Tracks Financial Services in the U S Japan 1999 2009 2019 October 15 2009 Christopher Flowers of private equity firm J C Flowers Co visited Japan Society to talk about the state of the financial world and to discuss what we can learn from the past as we begin to recover from a global crisis of harrowing proportions Read More Business NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer Examines the Future of Capital Markets June 9 2009 Duncan Niederauer of NYSE Euronext spoke about the state of the global capital markets

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  • Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    the Korean Peninsula May 9 2013 Read More Business Policy Tokyo s Place in the World Through the Eyes of Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose April 15 2013 Read More Business Policy 3 11 Disaster and Change in Japan March 12 2013 Read More Business Policy Every Nation for Itself Japan s Place in a G Zero World February 12 2013 Read More Business Policy Japan s Energy Policy After Fukushima January 24 2013 Read More Policy Japan s New Political Landscape January 16 2013 Read More Business Policy NAIIC Report on Fukushima Lessons Learned Next Steps Forward October 17 2012 Read More Business Policy Trans Pacific Partnership Pros Cons May 17 2012 Read More Policy Japan the United Nations May 16 2012 Read More Business Policy U S Perspectives on the Trans Pacific Partnership Japan April 17 2012 Read More 1 2 3 4 5 Calendar of Events February 2016 S M T W Th F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Language Center Event Nihongo Chat Support Japan Society Become a Member Make a Donation

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