Japan FSA to Ease Administrative Procedures for Foreign Entrants

ByEditors, Regulation Asia Published on 31st August 2020

The FSA will soon release financial administration guidelines setting out measures that may make it easier for foreign firms to set up in Japan. 

Japan’s FSA (Financial Services Agency) is planning to allowing applications for approval and registration to be submitted in English, speed up the processing time and enable online administrative services, as part of its efforts to attract more foreign institutions to set up shop in the country.

The measures, among others, will soon be announced in the FSA’s latest annual release of its financial administration guidelines for the year ending 30 June 2021, Japan Times reported.

The guidelines will be the first since FSA Commissioner Ryozo Himino took his post last month. Formerly the FSA’s vice minister for international affairs, Himono is widely expected to apply his global experience to boost the profile of Japan’s financial and capital markets.

Japan has already been easing financial regulations, but administrative procedures at the FSA are still conducted in Japanese, presenting a stumbling block for institutional investors, banks and securities firms in other countries.

The new guidelines are expected to highlight Japan’s ability to serve as a hedge against growing geopolitical and other international risks, purportedly alluding to recent uncertainties in Hong Kong. They will also highlight the FSA’s commitment to take measures related to taxation, which have long been criticised as being too high for foreign institutions, and to boost the efficiency and lower the cost of settlement systems in the country.

The FSA will also be reviewing the long-standing practice of relying on personal seals known as ‘hanko’, paper documents and in-person procedures, and promote digital transformation in the financial sector.

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