Bank of Japan

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Bank_of_Japan

Image:Bank of japan.png

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Image:BoJ.jpg
The Bank of Japan has its headquarters in this building in Tokyo.

The Bank of Japan (日本銀行 Nippon Ginkō) is the central bank of Japan.

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History

Like most modern Japanese institutions, the Bank of Japan was born after the Meiji Restoration. Prior to the Restoration, Japan's feudal fiefs all issued their own money, hansatsu, in an array of incompatible denominations, but the New Currency Act of Meiji 4 (1871) did away with these and established the yen as the new decimal currency. The former han (fiefs) became prefectures and their mints became private chartered banks which, however, initially retained the right to print money. For a time both the central government and these so-called "national" banks issued money; to end this, the Bank of Japan was founded in Meiji 15 (1882) and given a monopoly on controlling the money supply.

The Bank of Japan issued its first banknotes on Meiji 18 (1885), and despite some small glitches -- for example, it turned out that the konnyaku powder mixed in the paper to prevent counterfeiting made the bills a delicacy for rats -- the run was largely successful. In 1897 Japan joined the gold standard and in 1899 the former "national" banknotes were formally obsoleted.

The Bank of Japan has kept on running ever since, except a brief post-WW2 hiatus when the occupying Allies issued military currency and restructured the Bank into a more independent entity. However, despite a major 1997 rewrite of the Bank of Japan Law (日本銀行法) intended to give it more independence, the Bank of Japan has been criticized for lack of independence. A certain degree of dependence is enshrined in the Law itself, article 4 of which states:

In recognition of the fact that currency and monetary control is a component of overall economic policy, the Bank of Japan shall always maintain close contact with the government and exchange views sufficiently, so that its currency and monetary control and the basic stance of the government's economic policy shall be mutually harmonious.
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Missions

According to its charter, the missions of the Bank of Japan are:

  • Issuance and Management of Banknotes
  • Implementation of Monetary Policy
  • Providing Settlement Services and Ensuring the Stability of the Financial System
  • Treasury and Government Securities-Related Operations
  • International Activities
  • Compilation of Data, Economic Analyses and Research Activities
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Location

The Bank of Japan is headquartered in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on the site of a former gold mint (the Kinza) and, not coincidentally, near the famous Ginza district whose name means "silver mint". Despite featuring a neo-Baroque building from 1896 designed by Tatsuno Kingo, the Tokyo headquarters is a bit off the tourist track, and the better-placed Osaka branch in Nakanoshima is generally regarded as the symbol of the bank.

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Governors

The chief of the bank (総裁, sosai) has considerable influence on the economic policy of the Japanese government. Toshihiko Fukui replaced Masaru Hayami as the governor of the Bank of Japan since March 2003.

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Former governors

  1. Mr. Shigetoshi Yoshihara (6 Oct 1882 – 19 Dec 1887)
  2. Mr. Tetsunosuke Tomita (21 Feb 1888 – 3 Sep 1889)
  3. Mr. Koichiro Kawada (3 Sep 1889 – 7 Nov 1896)
  4. Baron Yanosuke Iwasaki (11 Nov 1896 – 20 Oct 1898)
  5. Mr. Tatsuo Yamamoto (20 Oct 1898 – 19 Oct 1903)
  6. Baron Shigeyoshi Matsuo (20 Oct 1903 – 1 Jun 1911)
  7. Mr. Korekiyo Takahashi (1 Jun 1911 – 20 Feb 1913)
  8. Viscount Yataro Mishima (28 Feb 1913 – 7 Mar 1919)
  9. Mr. Junnosuke Inoue (13 Mar 1919 – 2 Sep 1923)
  10. Mr. Otohiko Ichiki (5 Sep 1923 – 10 May 1927)
  11. Mr. Junnosuke Inoue - second term (10 May 1927 – 1 Jun 1928)
  12. Mr. Hisaakira Hijikata (12 Jun 1928 – 4 Jun 1935)
  13. Mr. Eigo Fukai (4 Jun 1935 – 9 Feb 1937)
  14. Mr. Seihin Ikeda (9 Feb 1937 – 27 Jul 1937)
  15. Mr. Toyotaro Yuki (27 Jul 1937 – 18 Mar 1944)
  16. Viscount Keizo Shibusawa (18 Mar 1944 – 9 Oct 1945)
  17. Mr. Eikichi Araki (9 Oct 1945 – 1 Jun 1946)
  18. Mr. Hisato Ichimada (1 Jun 1946 – 10 Dec 1954)
  19. Mr. Eikichi Araki - second term (11 Dec 1954 – 30 Nov 1956)
  20. Mr. Masamichi Yamagiwa (30 Nov 1956 – 17 Dec 1964)
  21. Mr. Makoto Usami (17 Dec 1964 – 16 Dec 1969)
  22. Mr. Tadashi Sasaki (17 Dec 1969 – 16 Dec 1974)
  23. Mr. Teiichiro Morinaga (17 Dec 1974 – 16 Dec 1979)
  24. Mr. Haruo Mayekawa (17 Dec 1979 – 16 Dec 1984)
  25. Mr. Satoshi Sumita (17 Dec 1984 – 16 Dec 1989)
  26. Mr. Yasushi Mieno (17 Dec 1989 – 16 Dec 1994)
  27. Mr. Yasuo Matsushita (17 Dec 1994 – 20 Mar 1998)
  28. Mr. Masaru Hayami (20 Mar 1998 – 19 Mar 2003)
  29. Mr. Toshihiko Fukui (20 Mar 2003 – present)
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See also

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External link

id:Bank of Japan ja:日本銀行 ko:일본은행 zh:日本银行

News

  • Bank of Japan abandons its policy of zero interest - Chicago Tribune
  • Bank of Japan starts the return to normal - Financial Times
  • Bank of Japan - The Daily Reckoning
  • Historic move by Bank of Japan relieves investor uncertainty - TheNewsTribune.com (subscription)
  • Bank of Japan Needs `Gradual' Shift in Policy, Hubbard Says - Bloomberg
  • Bank of Japan's Policy Change to Give Little Benefit to Lenders - Bloomberg
  • Fiscal Year End May Tempt Bank of Japan to Leave Rates Unchanged - AME Info
  • Bank of Japan Says Desirable Inflation Is Between Zero and 2% - Bloomberg
  • Japanese govt bonds end morning mixed before Bank of Japan's ... - Forbes
  • Forex - US dollar gains in Tokyo after Bank of Japan exits ultra ... - Forbes
  • ... more news

Related articles

Image:Wikipedia-small.png Wikipedia article about Bank of Japan (search). This article uses material from that article.
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