This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in subsequent chapters of this book. The book analyses the creation of the 1988 Basel Accord and its diffusion to non-Committee countries. It provides a detailed explanation of the Accord as a bank capital adequacy standard, while clarifying how effective compliance with it is measured. The book discusses the process of Accord establishment, paying special attention to the standpoint of Japan. It examines whether Korea and Taiwan had voluntary incentives to adopt the Accord, by analyzing their banking regulations prior to it. The book addresses the role of external pressures, both from foreign states and the markets, in the Japanese and Korean countries adoptions of the Accord. It also explains whether or not there were external pressures on them for effective compliance. The book explores why the bank regulatory authorities exercised regulatory forbearance in implementing the Accord in some cases, while in contrast implementing it strictly in others.