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Mizuho to open its 1st office in Washington

Jiji Press WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — Mizuho Bank will open a representative office in Washington early next month as its first foothold in the U.S. capital, Jiji Press learned Wednesday.

The move is aimed at collecting information about U.S. financial regulation reforms and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which are promoted by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, sources familiar with the matter said.

The unit of Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will formalize the plan as soon as approval is obtained from U.S. authorities, the sources said.

The bank hopes to open the office in time for the Oct. 13 start of annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Washington, the sources said.

Japanese financial and nonfinancial companies are likely to continue to step up information-gathering activities amid uncertainties over the Trump administration’s policies.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, the United States strengthened regulations on high-risk transactions and consumer protection measures.

The Trump administration is considering easing these regulations at the request of U.S. financial institutions.

Meanwhile, the Trump government is eager to enhance rules of origin in the NAFTA renegotiation with Canada and Mexico, as part of efforts to reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

Mizuho Bank’s domestic corporate customers, including automakers, are asking it to analyze the situation concerning the NAFTA negotiation on their behalf as they would be forced to review their production systems in Mexico if the rules of origin are revised.

Among other major Japanese banks, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., already has a representative office in Washington. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., is beefing up information gathering through its bases in New York and other U.S. cities.Speech

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