Japan's Banks: Immune to Subprime Pain?

So far, Japanese banks have escaped practically unscathed from the subprime tsunami, but skeptics believe they just haven't 'fessed up yet
Pedestrians walk past a branch of Japan's mega bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. AFP/Getty Images

While banks in the U.S. and Europe are writing down billions of dollars in subprime losses, Japanese banks have been surprisingly stable. Japan's banking industry, hammered by the collapse of the nation's real estate bubble in the early 1990s, have not reported gigantic losses related to the collapse of the American real estate bubble of the mid-2000s. That's prompted some analysts to ask, Is it possible Japan's banks really do have relatively little exposure to the subprime tsunami that is wiping out billions in earnings at the likes of UBS (UBS), Merrill Lynch (MER), and Citigroup (C)?

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