TOKYO — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said Monday that promoting sustainable finance will be at the core of the city’s updated strategy to become a global financial center under the Tokyo Global Financial Center concept, which Koike introduced in 2017.
Developing finance for decarbonization “will lead to our increased presence as an international financial city,” Koike said in a video message at the Nikkei Virtual Global Forum. Tokyo will support the issuance of green bonds by covering some associated costs and also attract fund managers and fintech startups that have expertise in green finance, she said.
Another “pillar” for Tokyo’s reform would be to digitize the financial sector, such as through a fund of 2 billion yen ($17.6 million) to support fintech initiatives, Koike said. The fund is now being set up, she said, with Tokyo itself expected to put in 200 million yen.
Koike added that she hopes to lure more financial players and support their growth in Japan. She said one of the initiatives was set up this month to assist with costs that foreign companies involved in green finance face in starting businesses in Tokyo.
Akira Amari, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said he would make Japan more attractive as a global financial hub by “resolving all obstacles,” including in terms of living conditions as well as tax reforms. Akira Amari, secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, delivers the keynote speech during the Nikkei Virtual Global Forum on Oct. 25.
Amari emphasized that Japan has already decided on tax reforms, such as in the areas of inheritance tax and corporate tax. He said he would work on increasing the number of English-friendly hospitals and international schools in order to attract more international talent.
While Japan targets carbon neutrality by 2050, “investors must also do their part … working with business and with governments and being clear about the long- and short-term actions that they expect to see from government [and] from businesses,” suggested Fiona Reynolds, chief executive of the Principles for Responsible Investment, a U.N.-supported network of investors.