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Financial innovations in Japan may have been occurring all along, but they seem more prominent over the last decades. Although it is difficult to define financial innovation, the authors can identify some relevant historical incidents. For example, the Hashimoto government announced in November 1996 a comprehensive plan to liberalize and deregulate the financial system which was due to be completed by March 2001. This plan was expected to provide more business opportunities and make Japanese financial markets as competitive as their London and NY counterparts, and later this scheme would come to be referred to as the Japanese Big Bang, following the terminology used for British financial deregulation in October 1986 under the Thatcher government.
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