This paper aims to understand Japan’s financial regulatory responses after the global financial crisis and recession. Japan’s post-crisis reactions show two seemingly opposing trends: collaboration with international organizations to strengthen the regulation to maintain financial stability, and regulatory forbearance for the banks with troubled small and medium enterprise [SME] borrowers. The paper evaluates the responses by the Japanese financial regulators in five areas (Basel III, stress tests, over-the-counter [OTC] derivatives regulation, recovery and resolution planning and banking policy for SME lending) and concludes that the effectiveness of the new regulations for financial stability critically depends on the willingness of the regulators to use the new tools.
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