London Calling: Japan to Create its Own Version of Canary Wharf

June 2, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Yuji Yamamoto, Japan’s State Minister in Charge of Financial Services, recently told the American Chamber of Commerce that he wants to attract more international business by increasing the competitiveness of Tokyo’s financial services industry.

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In particular, Yamamoto would like to see Japan create its own version of London’s Canary Wharf. In the 1800s, Canary Wharf, located in the Isle of Dogs, was one of the world’s busiest docks, but it fell into disrepair after World War II. Renovation took several decades, but today the location is a powerful, international financial hub that houses the HSBC Tower, Citigroup Centre headquarters, Barclays, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley among many others, and employs more than 90,000 people.

According to The International Herald Tribune, Yamamoto’s Japanese version of Canary Wharf would be located along the Sumida River and include the Nihonbashi District. Yamamoto would like “more banks, hedge funds and financial institutions to set up their Asian headquarters in central Tokyo” in a cluster.

This is excellent news for U.S. companies looking to do business in Japan. Hedge funds (so-named because market risks are “hedged”) within pools of private investment capitol can allow faster and more efficient liquidity between different countries and will benefit both the Japanese and U.S. markets. Add this to February’s telecommunications agreement between the U.S. and Japan, and it seems that business between the two countries keeps getting smoother and smoother!

We’ll keep you posted…

Sarah S.

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