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Opinion

Japan's flailing regional banks hinder quest for growth

Troubles at Shimane and Suruga highlight difficulties of zero-interest rates

| Japan
We may soon find out if Suruga Bank is an isolated case or the new normal. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

Japan hardly seems to have got over one banking crisis when another arrives. The economy, after all, is still grappling with the fallout from one which ostensibly ended in the early 2000s.

This explains the alarm last week when regional lender Shimane Bank stumbled. Whereas Japan's 1990s nightmare was about bad loans, lenders' troubles now relate to losses on securities portfolios.

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