PIFS celebrates symposium’s 20th anniversary with a gala in Japan

Program's U.S.-Japan symposium marks two decades as founder and director Hal S. Scott transitions to a new university role

Haruhiko Kuroda, governor, Bank of Japan

Haruhiko Kuroda, governor, Bank of Japan, at PIFS U.S.-Japan symposium

The Program on International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School hosted a special, 20th anniversary gala on Oct. 19, in Tokyo, Japan, prior to its annual U.S.-Japan symposium in Odawara, Japan.

The first symposium was held in 1998 to address the then severe problems in the Japanese financial system. This year’s gala and symposium celebrated the continued cooperation between American and Japanese financial officials, financiers, and academics, and their ongoing efforts to address bilateral and global financial issues. Panel discussions focused on “Surviving the Monetary Policy Exit and Possible Causes for the Next Financial Crisis,” and “Where is Financial Regulation Headed? Deregulation, Fragmentation and the Demise of the Basel Framework.”

Masatsugu Asakawa, vice minister of finance for International Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor, Bank of Japan, and Nobuyuki Hirano, president and Group CEO, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, delivered keynote addresses. David Malpass, undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Treasury, addressed the symposium via video.

Past U.S.-Japan symposia have involved such recognizable figures in international finance as Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan, Wilbur Ross, U.S. Commerce Secretary, and Larry Summers, President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University. In recent years, symposia topics have included the future of large global banks as well as the rise of China and its implications for Japan, the U.S., and the global financial markets.

PIFS also hosts four other annual symposia between the U.S. and China, Europe, India and Latin America.

Hal S. Scott, Nomura Professor and founder and director of PIFS

Hal S. Scott, Nomura Professor and founder and director of PIFS, transitions to his new role as Emeritus Professor at Harvard in June 2018.

At the gala event, PIFS announced its forthcoming separation from Harvard Law School as Hal S. Scott, Nomura Professor and founder and director of PIFS, transitions to his new role as Emeritus Professor at Harvard in June 2018. The program will move forward as an independent non-profit entity, with Harvard Law School becoming a non-financial sponsor of future symposia. Scott will continue to lead PIFS.

Discussing the change, Scott said, “My vision for the future of PIFS is to strengthen the role of the symposia as a place for academics, government and industry to meet worldwide and address critical problems. PIFS has also begun to play a critical role in providing executive education programs for financial officials from around the world.” Harvard Law School and PIFS will also partner in expanding PIFS’ executive education programs, which now include a program with IOSCO, the International Organization of Securities Commissions.