The Yokohama Specie Bank: a multinational in the Japanese interest 1879-1931
Prologue: 'We must do something' The Yokohama Specie Bank - predecessor of the Bank of Tokyo - opened its doors in February 1880, a direct response of the Japanese government to western initiatives. The foreigners had, from their arrival in the treaty ports in 1859, drained Japan of gold and silver coins. This had a severe effect in Japan proper and weakened the Japanese economy and their ability to bargain. Several of the western banks had established offices in Yokohama; indeed the Oriental Bank acted for the Japanese government in its foreign dealings.