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SMBC Nikko case shows that Japanese rules are not made to be broken

Local prosecutors have a tin ear for nuance and context

| Japan
The sign of SMBC Nikko Securities outside its head office in Tokyo on March 24: The prohibition against market manipulation is not a one-size-fits-all rule. (Photo by Suzu Takahashi)

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

In the U.S., the securities transactions at SMBC Nikko Securities that led to criminal indictments of five employees for "market manipulation" would at most deserve modest administrative sanctions.

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