Japan's bad debt problem no longer appears insurmountable as it did a year ago, but the government must pick up the pace of bank reform and convince the market that it is serious about disposing of the non-performing loans still sitting in its banks, according to the former head of the U.S.'s Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC).

"The Japanese premium has disappeared, but the world is not yet confident that the government will revitalize the banking system," L. William Seidman told an audience of roughly 500 delegates in the keynote address at the Fabozzi/IMN conference on Real Estate Finance and Securitization in Japan last week.

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