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July 21, 2021
Financial Services Agency
(Japanese version: published July 7, 2021)

Publication of the "Social Bond Guidelines (Draft)"
– Open for Public Comments

The Financial Services Agency has published a draft version of the “Social Bond Guidelines” based on the discussions at the Working Group on Social Bonds. Please refer to the link below for the full text of the Guidelines (Draft) in PDF format.
 

1. Background

In recent years, in the global bond market, the issuance of social bonds—that is, bonds that limit the use of funds to social projects that contribute to solving social issues—has expanded considerably. In Japan, the issuance of social bonds has also increased significantly, but the data breakdowns indicate that issuance by the public sector has taken the lead, accounting for most of the issuance. In order to ensure that there is enough financing to address social challenges, it is imperative for Japan to promote the issuance of social bonds in the private sector to drive the necessary capital into the implementation of social projects.

Regarding social bonds, given the fact that the "Social Bond Principles" (hereinafter referred to as "ICMA Social Bond Principles") formulated by the International Capital Market Association are currently the only internationally recognized set of principles, there were calls from the Japanese business community, etc. for the early formulation of guidelines on social bonds that are consistent with the ICMA Social Bond Principles and are at the same time in line with the characteristics of Japan.

In light of these circumstances, in March of this year, the "Working Group on Social Bonds" was established under the Expert Panel on the Sustainable Finance. The Working Group discussed the practical guidelines for Social Bonds which can be used as reference when considering specific measures regarding Social Bonds issued by ordinary companies in the private sector.
 

2. Document Subject to Call for Public Comments: "Social Bond Guidelines (Draft)"
    
Please refer to the attachment below for specific details.

Social Bond Guidelines (Draft)*
 

(*) Note that the English version is a provisional translation.
 

3. Public Comment Period

The comment period for the proposed guidelines are as follows.
Comments in Japanese on the Japanese Version of the Guidelines:
17:00 (JST) on 7 July (Wednesday) to 17:00 (JST) on 10 August (Tuesday)
Comments in English on the English Version of the Guidelines:
17:00 (JST) on 21 July (Wednesday) to 17:00 (JST) on 20 August (Friday) 

4. Comment Submissions

Please send any comments regarding the Social Bond Guidelines (Draft) by 17:00 (JST) 20 August in English, via email to the following email address.
 
Email address: socialbond1@fsa.go.jp
(ATTN: Financial Market Division, Policy and Markets Bureau, Financial Services Agency)
 
In your submission, please be sure to include your name (name of corporation or other organization), contact information (address, telephone number, and e-mail address), and reason.

5. Others

Your comments will be considered as reference in creating the final draft. Please note, however, that we cannot provide responses to your comments individually.

 

Please note that the name of the person submitting the comments (or the name of the corporation or other organization) will be disclosed together with the content of the comments when there is a request for disclosure. If you wish to remain anonymous, please state so clearly at the beginning of your comments.

In addition, when disclosing any comment details, if the comment includes (1) information about an individual that can identify a specific individual, or (2) information that may infringe upon the rights of a corporation, competitive position, or other legitimate interests, please note that portions may be censored.

 

Personal information such as the telephone number attached to the comments will be used to contact the person submitting the comment to clarify the content of the comments, as necessary.

  

 

Contact

Financial Markets Division, Policy and Markets Bureau, Financial Services Agency
Tel: +81-(0)3-3506-6000 (Ext.2292,2387)

Publication of the

Financial Markets Division, Policy and Markets Bureau, Financial Services Agency

03-3506-6000

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