Japan: New time zone for stock market?

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Tokyo’s mayor Naoki Inose has proposed Japan’s standard time (JST) should be pushed ahead two hours to allow the Tokyo stock market to start operating at the earliest time among other major economies, a suggestion reported by Japanese news agency Kyodo News International on May 22 that has been met with both acclaim and criticism.

Inose, who is know for his sometimes unconventional positions and controversial remarks, argued that such a move would allow the bourse in Tokyo to open immediately after Wall Street in New York closes in the Eastern Time Zone (EDT), giving Japan a first mover advantage.

Naoki Inose
Tokyo mayor Naoki Inose

Furthermore, if  the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened according to the new time scheme, it would only be 6am in Hong Kong (HKT) and Singapore (SGT), too early to start trading for these major Asian exchanges. Currently, Japan is just one hour ahead of these two cities. The stock exchange that opens earliest is actually the New Zealand Stock Exchange in Wellington, which, however, does not play a major role in the global stock market.

With Tokyo being the first trading place to open, banks and financial institutions from Hong Kong and Singapore would be “forced to relocate their headquarters to Tokyo,” Inose argued.

Japan’s economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari said that Inose made “a surprising proposal that should be discussed carefully.”

“I am not sure if it makes sense to move our time two hours ahead just for the benefit of the financial industry,” he added.

In fact, there are big obstacles for a time zone change in Japan. The current standard was introduced in 1886, and to change it, Japan would not only need to adapt its legislation, but also seek other nations’ approval.

On the other hand, the Japan Standard Time is not aligned with the regional longitude zone. For example, the Vladivostok Time (VLAT) zone, which covers the same longitude area as Japan, is actually two hours ahead of JST. The Australian Central Time Zone, also in the same longitude zone, is half an hour after JST.

Japan shares the same time only with Korean Standard Time, Indonesian Eastern Standard Time and, interestingly, Irkutsk Time, a region that is some 3,400 kilometers or 4 flight hours away from Tokyo.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tokyo’s mayor Naoki Inose has proposed Japan’s standard time (JST) should be pushed ahead two hours to allow the Tokyo stock market to start operating at the earliest time among other major economies, a suggestion reported by Japanese news agency Kyodo News International on May 22 that has been met with both acclaim and criticism.

Inose, who is know for his sometimes unconventional positions and controversial remarks, argued that such a move would allow the bourse in Tokyo to open immediately after Wall Street in New York closes in the Eastern Time Zone (EDT), giving Japan a first mover advantage.

Naoki Inose
Tokyo mayor Naoki Inose

Furthermore, if  the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened according to the new time scheme, it would only be 6am in Hong Kong (HKT) and Singapore (SGT), too early to start trading for these major Asian exchanges. Currently, Japan is just one hour ahead of these two cities. The stock exchange that opens earliest is actually the New Zealand Stock Exchange in Wellington, which, however, does not play a major role in the global stock market.

With Tokyo being the first trading place to open, banks and financial institutions from Hong Kong and Singapore would be “forced to relocate their headquarters to Tokyo,” Inose argued.

Japan’s economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari said that Inose made “a surprising proposal that should be discussed carefully.”

“I am not sure if it makes sense to move our time two hours ahead just for the benefit of the financial industry,” he added.

In fact, there are big obstacles for a time zone change in Japan. The current standard was introduced in 1886, and to change it, Japan would not only need to adapt its legislation, but also seek other nations’ approval.

On the other hand, the Japan Standard Time is not aligned with the regional longitude zone. For example, the Vladivostok Time (VLAT) zone, which covers the same longitude area as Japan, is actually two hours ahead of JST. The Australian Central Time Zone, also in the same longitude zone, is half an hour after JST.

Japan shares the same time only with Korean Standard Time, Indonesian Eastern Standard Time and, interestingly, Irkutsk Time, a region that is some 3,400 kilometers or 4 flight hours away from Tokyo.

world clock
Click to enlarge

 

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