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Samurai Bond Definition


A Samurai bond refers to a yen-denominated bond issued in Japan by a non-Japanese entity, typically a corporation or government. These bonds enable companies to raise funds from Japanese investors while providing diversification in their funding sources. Samurai bonds are subject to Japanese regulations and tend to have lower yields compared to domestic Japanese bonds due to their international appeal.


The phonetic spelling of the keyword “Samurai Bond Definition” is:/səˈmʊəraɪ bɒnd ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃən/Here is a breakdown of each word:Samurai: /səˈmʊəraɪ/Bond: /bɒnd/Definition: /ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Samurai Bond refers to a yen-denominated bond issued in Japan by a non-Japanese entity. These bonds are advantageous for foreign firms looking to raise capital in Japanese financial markets and provide diversification for Japanese investors.
  2. These bonds are subjected to strict regulations and guidelines set by the Japanese government, ensuring their quality, creditworthiness, and safety for investors.
  3. Samurai Bonds can help foreign issuers take advantage of potentially lower interest rates and improved borrowing terms in the Japanese market, while also providing Japanese investors with more diversified investment options.


The Samurai Bond Definition is important as it represents a significant aspect of the global financial market, specifically in relation to the Japanese financial landscape. Samurai bonds are yen-denominated bonds issued by non-Japanese entities in Japan, which allow these entities to diversify their sources of funding, access Japan’s large investor base, and potentially benefit from low interest rates. Additionally, Samurai bonds offer Japanese investors access to global investment opportunities without the need for currency conversion, thereby minimizing currency risk. Consequently, the Samurai Bond Definition plays a crucial role in promoting cross-border investments, fostering collaboration between global corporations and Japanese investors, and contributing to the overall health of the global economy.


A Samurai Bond serves the critical purpose of both facilitating the diversification of funding sources for foreign entities and potentially lowering their borrowing costs. It is a debt instrument that is issued by a non-Japanese company or organization, but denominated in Japanese yen and primarily marketed to Japanese institutional investors. Since Japan has historically had low interest rates, foreign entities may issue Samurai Bonds to take advantage of this characteristic, potentially obtaining lower borrowing costs than they would in their home countries. For Japanese investors, the appeal lies in diversification opportunities; Samurai Bonds allow them to invest in non-domestic companies while maintaining a yen-dominated portfolio, therefore eliminating foreign currency risk exposure.

Furthermore, Samurai Bonds can strengthen economic relationships between Japan and the issuing entities’ countries, as well as support the internationalization of the yen. Additionally, they can provide Japanese investors with a broader array of investment opportunities for income generation, while mitigating risks associated with investments concentrated solely in domestic companies. With a focus on risk minimization and the expansion of investment opportunities, Samurai Bonds play a vital role in global finance and offer benefits for both foreign borrowers and Japanese investors.


A Samurai Bond refers to yen-denominated bonds issued in Japan by a non-Japanese company. These bonds are intended to attract Japanese investors and provide alternative sources of funding for the issuing companies. Here are three real-world examples of Samurai Bonds:

1. Apple Inc. – In June 2016, the technology giant Apple Inc. issued its first Samurai Bond, raising approximately 250 billion yen (around 2 billion USD at that time). This move allowed Apple to diversify its investor base and capitalize on Japan’s low interest rates for raising funds.

2. World Bank – In September 2018, the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) issued a 10-year Samurai Bond, raising around 153.3 billion yen (around 1.36 billion USD). This issuance marked the World Bank’s return to Japan’s domestic bond market, helping to support its global development activities and providing Japanese investors with a high-quality investment product.

3. BPCE (Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne) – In February 2019, the French banking group BPCE successfully issued a Samurai Bond, raising around 151.4 billion yen (around 1.37 billion USD). The bond offering attracted strong interest from Japanese investors and demonstrated the bank’s capacity to access international capital markets to support its growth strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Samurai Bond?

A Samurai Bond is a yen-denominated debt instrument issued by a non-Japanese organization or government in Japan’s capital market. Businesses or governments often opt for Samurai Bonds to take advantage of Japan’s large investor base, favorable interest rates, and reduced currency fluctuation risk.

Why are these bonds called “Samurai Bonds”?

The term “Samurai” is derived from Japan’s feudal warrior class, referring to the bond’s origin in Japan’s market. The name highlights the specific nature of the bond and follows naming conventions similar to other bonds, such as Yankee Bonds (U.S.) and Bulldog Bonds (U.K.).

What are the primary reasons for issuing Samurai Bonds?

The main reasons for issuing Samurai Bonds are to diversify funding sources, access Japan’s deep pool of investors, take advantage of favorable interest rates, and mitigate currency risks by issuing debt in yen.

Do Samurai Bonds require special regulatory approval to be issued?

Yes, Samurai Bonds are subject to regulations and require approval from the Japanese Ministry of Finance. The issuer must comply with Japanese securities laws and other guidelines before the issuance.

How do Samurai Bonds benefit Japanese investors?

Samurai Bonds provide Japanese investors with an opportunity to invest in non-Japanese entities or governments while avoiding foreign exchange risk since the investment is in yen. They also offer investment diversification and potentially higher yields compared to similar domestic bonds.

Are Samurai Bonds only available to institutional investors?

Although primarily targeted towards institutional investors such as banks, pension funds, and insurance companies, Samurai Bonds can also be available to retail investors, depending on the issuer’s preferences and regulatory approvals.

What are the risks involved in investing in Samurai Bonds?

The risks of investing in Samurai Bonds include credit risk, which is the potential inability of the issuer to repay principal or interest on time. Investors should consider the issuer’s credit rating, macroeconomic factors, and political stability of the issuer’s country. Samurai Bonds are denominated in yen; however, foreign exchange risk may be borne by the issuer instead of the investor.

How do Samurai Bonds differ from Eurobonds or other international bond types?

Samurai Bonds are specifically yen-denominated bonds issued by non-Japanese entities in Japan, whereas Eurobonds are issued outside the issuer’s home country and can be denominated in various currencies, not just euros. Each type of international bond has its unique characteristics and target markets, such as Yankee Bonds (U.S.), Bulldog Bonds (U.K.), and Kangaroo Bonds (Australia).

Related Finance Terms

  • Yen-denominated Bond: Samurai bonds are bonds issued by non-Japanese entities in the Japanese market, denominated in Japanese yen.
  • Foreign Issuer: Samurai bonds are issued by foreign governments or corporations, allowing them to raise capital in Japan.
  • Japanese Investors: Samurai bonds are primarily aimed at Japanese investors, who are familiar with the Japanese bond market and yen currency.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Issuers of Samurai bonds must comply with Japanese regulations, including registration and disclosure requirements.
  • Currency Risk: Samurai bonds expose investors and issuers to currency risk, as fluctuations in the yen exchange rate can affect returns and borrowing costs.

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