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Summary and Comments

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Category: 

Banking

Date: 

1998-06-02 08:06:15

Subject: 

Japan Faces Disaster: Chamber of Commerce, Japan

  Link:

http://web.lexis-nexis.com/more/cahners/11370/3352518/1

Comment: 

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan has issued a dire warning. "Systemic disruption in the financial markets in particular could cause critical damage and loss of credibility to every firm in the supply chain for a given industry, and across industries globally."

This is a May 31 report.

* * * * * * * * *

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) has issued warnings about the tendency of many Japanese business chiefs to believe that they are immune because Japan follows a calendar different to the Gregorian version.

Taking as its starting point the year of the emperor's accession to the throne, Japan is officially at year 10.

But computer experts say Japan, like everywhere else in the world, will be subject to the millennium bug when clocks change from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. . . .

"The problem posed by the year 2000 does not just concern management of individual institutions but the stability of Japan's entire financial sector," wrote Bank of Japan (BoJ) official Ryuichi Shogan in a financial magazine.

"The Bank of Japan plainly realises the importance of this problem."

Big companies have put task forces on to the problem. Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. (JAL) is for instance spending eight million dollars to be prepared for the bug by September next year. Car maker Honda said it has had a special team in place for several years.

But the ACCJ in a "viewpoint" report is ringing the alarm bell.

"The Japanese government's efforts have been disappointing given the seriousness of the problem," it said.

"Systemic disruption in the financial markets in particular could cause critical damage and loss of credibility to every firm in the supply chain for a given industry, and across industries globally," the ACCJ added.

The US-based Moody's Investors Service is also doubtful of Japan's readiness to confront the bug.

"Moody's is concerned that the Japanese bank executives do not appear to be taking the potential problems as seriously as the managements of other global institutions.

"Unlike other global banks, the Japanese say they do not have any major problems and how they achieved that happy state of affairs is something of a mystery," the credit ratings agency said. . . .

At the government level, 40 percent of computer and software systems are already adequately prepared for the millennium clock ticking over and 85 percent of local administrations have taken or are taking precautions, according to an inter-ministerial report.

However, only a third of the country's municipalities have taken measures, it added.

Link: 

http://web.lexis-nexis.com/more/cahners/11370/3352518/1

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