That every bank and insurer from Wall St. and Canary Wharf to Raffles Place and Sandton has an innovation arm (and likely an attached venture arm) is not news. Yet Japanese banks have been conspicuously absent from this race to innovate through acquisition. 

Part of this is due to Japanese law, which prevents Japanese banks from owning more than 5% of a non-financial company (fintech included). Remaining below this threshold means that creating genuine strategic partnerships is difficult.

Yet this legislation is changing, as is Japanese banks' approach to venture funds, with financial services giant Mizuho announcing it is joining the CVC club.