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Japan pension whale GPIF in China bond quandary: backlash or gains?

FTSE Russel's embrace of the high-yielding debt forces the fund to decide

The 10-year yield of Chinese government bond tops 3%, higher than returns in developed countries.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund faces the tricky question of whether to adopt Chinese sovereign debt into its portfolio, a move that would lead to healthy returns but risks sparking outrage over financially backing an alleged human rights abuser.

The issue gained steam Monday when the British index provider FTSE Russell decided to include Chinese government bonds in its benchmark FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI). The incorporation will be phased in over a three-year period starting at the end of October.

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