Outlook: Nikko caught up in gangster rap
Friday 26 September 1997
Passing money in envelopes is such a deeply rooted facet of Japanese life that when payments to sokaiya gangsters were made illegal in 1983 it was only ever likely to be a hollow gesture. The government has been as implicated as anyone else in the culture of backhanders during its 50- odd years of single party rule since the Second World War.
It is hard from a Western perspective to understand why monolithic financial conglomerates such as Nomura and its rivals do not simply tell the likes of Koike-san to take a running jump. But ours is not a society where surface calm is all and writing out a fat cheque is better than losing face at a rowdy meeting.
The numbers involved are not particularly alarming - about pounds 70,000 in Nikko's case, rather more in the others - but the message they send out about the integrity of Tokyo in the run-up to Japan's Big Bang financial deregulation is not encouraging.
The promises made six years ago by Nomura and Nikko, after they were found to have illegally compensated favoured clients, have been shown to be wholly worthless. That should concern the European and American banks who are queuing up to forge alliances to take advantage of the brave new world apparently unfolding in Tokyo.
Japan's decline from financial superpower to backwater has been as rapid as its rise to pre-eminence 10 years ago. Already a third of Nikkei 225 futures are traded in Singapore and around 15 per cent of Japanese equities are traded in London. Tokyo's fall from grace shows how, built on speculation and graft, much of its wealth was an illusion.
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants slaughter 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
That Sugar Film director Damon Gameua receives shocking diagnosis after going on healthy sugar diet for just 60 days
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...