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Special Report: Japan

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As Japan's economy starts to slow, the country's banks and securities dealers are increasingly looking overseas and to higher-margin businesses to boost profits.

Once the powerhouses of the global financial markets - Nomura had a market capitalisation of $76 billion in 1987, 18 times that of Merrill Lynch - Japan suffered an extended recession through the 1990s, when the country's banks and securities houses scrambled to sort out their huge portfolios of non-performing loans and underwater stock

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