Japanese companies have been on a gigantic spending spree this year in Southeast Asia.
Total Japanese investment into the region has already reached $8.94 billion this year, surpassing the full-year record. Banks and insurers such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance are leading the way.
Their motivation is clear capture faster growth than in their own sluggish economy using the still relatively strong yen and their ultra-low funding costs to knock out any competition.
However, the Japanese appear to have overpaid for deals and underestimated the economic, regulatory and operational risks of investing in such volatile emerging markets,...