This weekend, leaders from the United States and Japan will gather in Hakone, Japan, to examine challenges facing the financial sectors of the two countries. The “Symposium on Building the Financial System of the 21st Century: An Agenda for Japan and the United States,” is organized by Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS) and the International House of Japan (I-House).

The first topic to be discussed at the Symposium is of great importance to the current turmoil in the financial markets: “The U.S. credit crisis and Japan’s banking crisis—what’s the same, what’s different, and how can Japan’s experience help in resolving the U.S. crisis?” The other two topics will focus on global financial centers and sovereign wealth funds.

“Now in its eleventh year, the Japan-U.S. Symposium is the premier forum for constructive dialogue between leaders of the financial systems of Japan and the U.S.,” said Professor Hal S. Scott, director of PIFS. “During the Symposium, participants will discuss the current credit crisis, the actions being taken to resolve the crisis, and the lessons that the U.S can learn from the Japanese banking crisis.”

“The current credit crisis is spreading worldwide, and it is said that Japan’s experience was of use in the recent government-led recapitalization in the United States,” said Mr. Tasuku Takagaki, Chairman of the International House of Japan and Senior Advisor of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. “However, the global market is far from stable. I hope that this symposium will be an opportunity to exchange candid views as to how to further stabilize the financial market.”

The 130 attendees include senior government officials, economic advisers, financial firm leaders, lawyers, consultants, and scholars from the U.S. and Japan.

Speakers include:

  • Sir Deryck Maughan, Managing Director and Chairman of Asia, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Asia
  • Atsushi Saito, Chief Executive Officer, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc.
  • Takafumi Sato, Commissioner, Financial Services Agency, Japan
  • Takehiko Nakao, Senior Deputy Director-General, Japan Ministry of Finance
  • Robert Dohner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia at the Department of the Treasury

The Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems was founded in 1986. It was established to conduct research integrating law, economics and finance. In its 22 years, the Program has published books on the international financial system, held symposia, and provided policy advice to an array of countries.