• Jiji


The Financial Services Agency is poised to promote administrative globalization to attract more foreign investors, sources said.

Aiming to boost the profile of Japanese financial and capital markets, the FSA will allow applications for approval and registration to be submitted in English and speed up the processing time, among other things.

The measures will be included in FSA’s soon-to-be-released financial administration guidelines for the year that started in July.

The guidelines, which the FSA releases every year, explain its policies on fostering and supervising financial institutions and markets.

This year’s guidelines, which will be the first since FSA Commissioner Ryozo Himino took the post last month, are expected to basically follow past guidelines on financial administration while partly reflecting the thinking of Himino, who was the FSA’s vice minister for international affairs, the sources said Wednesday.

Although Japan has been easing financial regulations, procedures related to administrative services at the FSA are conducted in Japanese, creating a stumbling block for major institutional investors, banks and securities houses in English-speaking nations and regions that are eager to enter Japanese markets.

Apparently alluding to rising tensions in Hong Kong, the upcoming guidelines will say that Japanese markets can contribute to hedging international risks at a time when geopolitical and other risks are growing, according to the sources.

The guidelines will show the agency’s commitment to take measures, including those related to taxation, to persuade foreign investors and financial institutions to choose Japanese markets, the sources said.

As for the coronavirus, the agency will check how financial institutions are helping companies with financing and operations. It will review the scope of banks’ operations while easing regulations needed for them to play roles in revitalizing regional economies, the sources said.

Also prompted by the pandemic, the FSA will review the financial industry’s long-running practice of relying on hanko (personal seals), paper documents and in-person procedures.

The agency also will work toward making efficient financial settlement systems, such as the Zengin Data Telecommunications System, an interbank money transfer system whose commission fees have remained high for a long time.

In addition, the FSA will help promote talks between companies and investors over digital transformation, or reforming systems via digital technologies.

The FSA also will aim to reform itself by promoting online financial administration and by strengthening its ability to grasp the financial industry’s situation correctly, design policies and analyze data.

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