Commentary: A Finance Bonanza In Japan? Forget It

When Merrill Lynch & Co. acquired parts of the ailing Yamaichi Securities earlier this year, the move was heralded as a foretaste of the future of Japanese finance. With 33 of Yamaichi's branches and the best 2,000 of its personnel, Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Ltd., a separate operating unit, was instantly counted among the brave new firms that would decisively open the potentially huge market to foreign participants.

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