The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

It is an honor to again serve on the Board of Governors after time away. This year, ACCJ President Christopher LaFleur has asked me to chair the ACCJ Financial Services Forum (FSF) and I look forward to working closely with its members to lead the chamber’s financial services initiatives.

Financial services: an engine of economic growth
As Japan confronts the unprecedented challenges of mounting public debt as well as a rapidly aging and shrinking workforce, it will be essential to have efficient, well-regulated financial and capital markets in Japan, the United States, and elsewhere to achieve sustained economic growth and improve the well-being of Japanese citizens.

The ACCJ has long supported Japan’s government in its efforts to promote economic growth and make Japan the easiest place in the world to do business.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership, Japan is implementing a clear economic policy vision to promote growth, with recognition that financial services play a fundamental growth-facilitating role.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, rules for the global economy are increasingly being written at the G20 and other international fora. Important progress has been made.

In 2014, G20 leaders declared the “job of agreeing to measures to fix the fault lines that caused the crisis is now substantially complete.”

However, the G20-led framework continues to generate new regulations at a rapid pace, without clear understanding of the cumulative effect this regulation will have on financial stability or consumer protection, much less on economic growth and job creation.

Against this backdrop, Nobuchika Mori, Japan’s Financial Services Agency commissioner, has been outspoken regarding global financial regulatory reform, pointing out that international standard-setting bodies have become “regulation factories.”

Reforms to strengthen the global financial system are needed and welcome to achieve the appropriate balance to ensure consumer protection while promoting economic growth.

However, the key challenge is ensuring that the cumulative impact of these regulations does not harm financial stability or unnecessarily constrain economic growth.

G7: an opportunity for US–Japan leadership
This year, Japan will host the G7 summit, providing an important opportunity for the government to showcase Japan’s growth-oriented vision and a chance for Washington and Tokyo together to lead in forming a G7 consensus that regulators must be responsive to economic concerns regarding global financial regulatory reform.

Accordingly, the FSF is preparing a white paper for release in spring. It will provide the context and propose a new framework for the G7, enabling it to play a strategic, pro-growth role in global financial regulatory policymaking.

We hope the white paper will be seen as a constructive contribution to the public policy debate in Japan and around the world regarding this critically important challenge.

U.S. TAXES: INDIVIDUAL TAX CHANGES FOR 2015

In light of the US tax filing deadline this month, the ACCJ Taxation Committee would like to remind all members that there is a recording of last year’s presentation on U.S. individual income tax requirements.

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Andrew Conrad Vice president, ACCJ; and Chair, ACCJ Financial Services Forum