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Japanese Government Bond (JGB)


A Japanese Government Bond (JGB) is a debt security issued by the government of Japan to raise funds for financing its various public projects and expenditures. JGBs are considered low-risk investment instruments because they are backed by the Japanese government’s creditworthiness. They come in different maturity periods, typically ranging from two to forty years, and pay periodic interest to bondholders.


Japanese Government Bond (JGB) in phonetics: /ˈʤæpəˌniz ˈgʌvərnmənt bɑnd/

Key Takeaways

  1. Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) are debt securities issued by the government of Japan to finance its budget deficits and support its economy. They are considered as low-risk investments due to their sovereign backing by the stable Japanese government.
  2. JGBs generally offer lower yields compared to other government bonds, reflecting the low-interest-rate environment maintained by the Bank of Japan (BOJ). The central bank’s monetary policy framework and its commitment to achieving an inflation target have led to consistent demand for JGBs, contributing to the depressed yields.
  3. Foreign investors also hold a significant portion of JGBs due to their status as a safe-haven investment. During times of global economic uncertainty, the demand for JGBs often increases, as investors look for low-risk and stable assets to safeguard their capital.


The Japanese Government Bond (JGB) is an important financial instrument because it is a debt security issued by the government of Japan to fund public projects, finance government operations, and support the nation’s economy. JGBs represent one of the largest and most liquid bond markets globally, making them a significant component of international fixed-income portfolios. As a relatively stable investment with a historically low risk of default, JGBs often serve as a benchmark for risk assessment in financial markets, providing insight into Japan’s creditworthiness and macroeconomic environment. Furthermore, since the Bank of Japan conducts monetary policy through the purchase and sale of JGBs, their yields have a substantial impact on domestic interest rates, affecting both Japanese and international investors.


Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) serve as a vital tool to fund public projects and manage Japan’s national economy. Issued by the Ministry of Finance in Japan, these debt securities help the government finance its expenditures on infrastructure projects, education, healthcare, and various other public sector initiatives. JGBs are attractive to both domestic and international investors because they are backed by the government, indicating a low risk of default. By issuing JGBs, the Japanese government can effectively raise funds to maintain its public services without resorting to printing excess amounts of currency, which could otherwise lead to inflation. Furthermore, JGBs are utilized in the country’s monetary policy implementation as they help regulate domestic interest rates. The Bank of Japan (BOJ), the nation’s central bank, manages this function by actively participating in the secondary markets, where existing JGBs are bought and sold. By purchasing and selling JGBs from the market, the BOJ can indirectly influence the money supply, liquidity, and interest rates in the economy, thereby promoting price stability, consistent growth and sound financial conditions necessary for the overall well-being of the Japanese economy. This makes JGBs a critical tool for the Japanese government in achieving its fiscal and monetary policy objectives.


1. JGB Auction: In February 2021, the Japanese Ministry of Finance announced the auction of a new 10-year Japanese Government Bond with a 0.10% coupon rate. The demand for the bonds was strong, with investors buying more than 3.6 times the amount on offer. This example illustrates how JGBs are issued through auctions, and the market’s appetite for them. 2. Yields and Monetary Policy: In September 2016, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced a policy of “yield curve control,” aiming to keep the 10-year JGB yield around 0%. By controlling long-term interest rates and maintaining 10-year yields at or around 0%, the BOJ aims to lower borrowing costs for businesses and households, ultimately stimulating investment and economic growth. This example highlights the relationship between JGB yields and the central bank’s monetary policy choices. 3. Negative Yield JGBs: In January 2016, for the first time in history, the Japanese Government Bond yields turned negative for certain maturity bonds. This implies that investors were willing to pay the Japanese government for the privilege of lending it money, rather than receiving interest income. This situation occurred due to factors such as global economic turmoil, low inflation, and the Bank of Japan’s policy of negative interest rates on some excess reserves held by the country’s financial institutions. This example demonstrates how JGB yields can be significantly affected by both domestic and international market conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Japanese Government Bond (JGB)?
A Japanese Government Bond (JGB) is a debt security issued by the government of Japan to finance its budgetary requirements and fund public projects. JGBs are considered low-risk investments, as they are backed by the creditworthiness of the Japanese government.
Who issues Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs)?
JGBs are issued by the Ministry of Finance of Japan through regular auction processes. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) acts as an intermediary, facilitating the auctions and trading of JGBs in the secondary market.
What are the typical maturities of JGBs?
JGBs come in different maturity periods, typically ranging from short-term (1 to 5 years), medium-term (5 to 10 years), and long-term (over 10 years) bonds. The most commonly traded maturities are 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40-year bonds.
What is the interest rate on JGBs?
The interest rate on JGBs varies depending on the maturity and market conditions at the time the bond is issued. Typically, interest rates on JGBs are lower than other sovereign bonds due to the credit rating and stability of the Japanese government.
How can I invest in JGBs?
Individual investors can participate in the primary market by purchasing JGBs directly at auctions through registered financial institutions. JGBs are also traded in the secondary market, where investors can buy and sell them through authorized dealers and brokers.
How do JGBs affect the Japanese economy?
JGBs play a significant role in Japan’s economy, as the government relies on their issuance to finance its budget, fund public projects, and manage national debt. The interest rates on JGBs also influence the cost of borrowing for the private sector and serve as a benchmark for other interest rates in the economy.
Are JGBs taxable in Japan?
Interest income earned from JGBs is subject to taxation in Japan. However, exemptions or reductions might be applicable depending on the specific bond type and the investor’s residency status. It is advised to consult a tax professional for accurate information on taxation related to JGBs.
How is the JGB market affected by monetary policy?
The Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) monetary policy can influence the demand for JGBs and their yield levels. For example, if the BoJ lowers its policy rate, JGB yields are likely to decrease, making the bonds more attractive to investors and driving up demand. Conversely, higher interest rates can lead to higher yields and potentially decreased demand for JGBs.

Related Finance Terms

  • Yield Curve
  • BoJ (Bank of Japan)
  • JGB Auctions
  • JGB Futures
  • JGB Credit Rating

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