Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) Brokers 2024

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Written By
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Written By
Tobias Robinson
Tobias is a partner at DayTrading.com, director of a UK limited company and active trader. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry and contributed via CySec to the regulatory response to digital options and CFD trading in Europe. Toby’s expertise and dedication to financial education make him a trusted voice in the industry, including a BBC investigation into digital options.
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Fact Checked By
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Fact Checked By
William Berg
William contributes to several investment websites, leveraging his experience as a consultant for IPOs in the Nordic market and background providing localization for forex trading software. William has worked as a writer and fact-checker for a long row of financial publications.
Updated

This guide lists the top brokers regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA), which is responsible for protecting market participants and the stability of the local financial system. We also explain the history of the agency, its responsibilities and protections for retail traders.

Best JFSA Brokers

These are the 3 top brokers that hold a license with the JFSA, providing a secure trading environment for Japanese traders:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    ThinkMarkets
    71.89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.2 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.2 / 5
    4.1 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, JFSA, FSA, DFSA, FMA
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, ETFs, Futures, Commodities, Crypto, Spread Betting (UK Only)
    ThinkTrader, MT4, MT5, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Mastercard, POLi, BPAY, Credit Card, Visa, Skrill, Neteller, Wire Transfer, Google Wallet, Apple Pay
    USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, JPY, CHF
  2. 2
    Dukascopy
    10% Equity Bonus

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:200
    FINMA, FCMC, JFSA, CNMV
    Forex, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, metals, cryptocurrencies, bonds, binary options
    MT4, AlgoTrader
    Neteller, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, Samsung Pay, Skrill, Visa, Maestro, Credit Card, Debit Card, Apple Pay, Bitcoin Payments
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, TRY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, PLN, HUF
  3. 3
    Alpari
    30% up to $100 (terms apply)

    Ratings
    2.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    1.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.6 / 5

    $5
    0.01 Lots
    1:1000
    FSC, SEBI, JFSA
    Forex, CFDs, Stocks, Commodities, Indices, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Mastercard, Credit Card, FasaPay, Volet, Wire Transfer, Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments
    USD, EUR, GBP, CZK, NGN

Here is a short summary of why we think each broker belongs in this top list:

  1. ThinkMarkets - Founded in 2010, ThinkMarkets is a reputable CFD and forex broker with regulation from several top-tier bodies including the FCA and ASIC. The broker provides services to over 450,000 accounts from 11 global offices. Traders can use a bespoke platform, MT4 or MT5 to access a wide variety of assets including 3500+ stocks and ETFs, 46 forex pairs and over 20 cryptocurrencies.
  2. Dukascopy - Dukascopy is an online broker operated by a Swiss-regulated banking group. It offers a good selection of 500+ markets, with forex, stocks, gold, ETFs, indices, bonds and cryptocurrencies available. It also offers flexible trading opportunities through the choice of CFDs or binary options. Traders will use MetaTrader 4 or a proprietary platform that is well-suited to automated trading.
  3. Alpari - Alpari is an offshore multi-asset broker that offers traders a wide range of forex trading opportunities as well as stock, index and commodity CFDs. The broker also offers fixed costs with payouts known upfront. Trading takes place on the reliable MT4 and MT5 platforms, plus the brand's mobile app. Alpari offers tight ECN spreads which will serve active day traders.

ThinkMarkets

"With its diverse asset list, competitive fees and superb charting software, ThinkMarkets maintains its position as a top choice for most CFD traders. That said, experienced traders will particularly appreciate the range of advanced tools, including forex signals and VPS solutions."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

ThinkMarkets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, ETFs, Futures, Commodities, Crypto, Spread Betting (UK Only)
RegulatorFCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, JFSA, FSA, DFSA, FMA
PlatformsThinkTrader, MT4, MT5, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, AUD, JPY, CHF

Pros

  • Quick and easy to open a ThinkMarkets account
  • Unique Traders' Gym simulation tool for testing out strategies on real historical data, with multiple timeframes and custom features
  • Top-tier regulation from the FCA, ASIC and CySEC plus offshore branches with high leverage

Cons

  • Limited bonus offers, refer-a-friend schemes or trading competitions
  • Not many payment methods available for UK traders
  • $500 minimum deposit for ThinkZero account

Dukascopy

"Dukascopy will appeal to active day traders with fee rebates and the JForex platform for automated trading."

William Berg, Reviewer

Dukascopy Quick Facts

Bonus Offer10% Equity Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, metals, cryptocurrencies, bonds, binary options
RegulatorFINMA, FCMC, JFSA, CNMV
PlatformsMT4, AlgoTrader
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:200
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, TRY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, PLN, HUF

Pros

  • There is a joining bonus and volume discounts
  • Heavily regulated brokerage including oversight from Swiss FINMA
  • The broker hosts its own TV channel, alongside various educational materials and an active online community

Cons

  • No Islamic trading account
  • Time-consuming registration process

Alpari

"Alpari will suit short-term binary options traders with a low $5 deposit, powerful charting terminals, and a rebate scheme. Forex traders also get very high leverage with tight spreads while the broker's PAMM service will appeal to hands-off investors."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

Alpari Quick Facts

Bonus Offer30% up to $100 (terms apply)
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, CFDs, Stocks, Commodities, Indices, Crypto
RegulatorFSC, SEBI, JFSA
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$5
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:1000
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CZK, NGN

Pros

  • Cashback schemes are available for high-volume traders
  • Copy trading and PAMM services are also available for day traders
  • The broker offers high leverage up to 1:1000 for experienced clients

Cons

  • The lack of educational resources is disappointing compared to alternatives
  • There are fairly high charges for strategy manager copy trading tools
  • The market analysis and research tools are limited

What Is The Japanese Financial Services Agency?

The Japanese Financial Services Agency became a regulatory body in 2000 and is the main watchdog in the region. It is based in Tokyo and led by a Commissioner who is appointed by the Minister of State for Financial Services.

The decisions the Japanese Financial Services Agency makes in relation to securities trading has implications for both traders and online brokers. Importantly, any broker or company providing trading services to retail investors must hold a license with the JFSA. Traders can use the online register to search for FSA-regulated entities and companies.

The local watchdog is also a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This is an international organisation set up to develop global standards for anti-money laundering. As a result, the JFSA’s influence extends beyond Japan.

japan's financial services agency list of administrative penalties

Responsibilities & Powers

To understand the responsibilities and powers of the Financial Services Agency in Japan, you have to first know its structure. The FSA is split into several bureaus:

The Japanese Financial Services Agency also has some regulatory reporting powers to increase transparency in business activities and to assist itself in enforcing its rules. In addition, the JFSA works closely with the Government of Japan to develop legislation that impacts the local financial system and the firms within it.

An example of regulations to be introduced in the future is the mandatory requirement for climate risk disclosures for certain large companies. This move is to align with the objectives of the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).

Investors Protection Fund

The JFSA also plays a role in insuring client funds. Trading brokers should segregate client accounts from their own capital. In theory, this means customers should still be able to withdraw their funds if a firm goes bankrupt. However, should this not happen, the JFSA has an Investors Protection Fund that will pay a maximum of 10 million yen per investor.

Enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) in Japan comes under the authority of the JFSA. It helps undertake investigations into market misconduct and inspects financial business operators. In the case of serious violations, it can make recommendations to the Financial Services Agency and the Japanese Prime Minister to take administrative disciplinary action.

The remit of the JFSA’s enforcement powers are extensive – the regulator can impose fines, order the cessation of corporate operations and even imprison guilty individuals. Japan’s Financial Services Agency has a weekly review, which contains a list of any administrative penalties issued against companies in the preceding week.

Actions

Cryptocurrency

The Financial Services Agency in Japan has taken a robust approach to the crypto industry. Following token thefts at the Coincheck exchange in 2018, two brands were ordered to shut down whilst legislations were adjusted. In 2019, rules that applied to crypto exchanges were also strengthened to help ensure that customer assets were adequately protected.

New restrictions on stablecoins have also been discussed, with the Japanese Financial Services Agency planning to introduce fresh requirements in 2022. The restrictions may state that only banks and wire transfer services can issue stablecoins. The US has also been thinking along similar lines. It is hoped that these restrictions will provide additional protections to local financial markets, however, they are likely to impact the availability of stablecoins to crypto investors.

Forex

In the forex market, the Japanese Financial Services Agency imposes a maximum leverage cap of 1:25. This means that investors cannot trade with more than 25 times their original investment. Regulations like this help protect traders from magnified losses, however, they can also restrict traders who want to adopt high-risk strategies.

Remember that while the JFSA imposes maximum leverage restrictions, brokers can still reduce margin ratios further – they just cannot exceed the maximum cap.

Another area that the JFSA has cracked down on is advertisements that exaggerate the services or opportunities available. The regulator also regularly interviews forex brokers to ensure they interact with their customers appropriately.

Other Markets & Trading Types

The Japanese Financial Services Agency/Council has looked at streamlining the Tokyo Stock Exchange and reducing the number of companies in one of the cash equity markets. This would impact traders speculating on the growth of that market.

In addition, back in 2002, the JFSA strengthened short-selling restrictions to try and prevent unfair transactions. There have also been further developments since then, including restrictions on naked short selling (i.e selling stocks that do not exist).

Final Thoughts on JFSA Brokers

Being the chief regulator of the Japanese financial services industry, the remit of the FSA extends beyond online trading. With that said, many of the policies and regulations it devises have direct implications for traders. This can be seen in the action it has taken with cryptocurrency exchanges plus leverage in the retail forex trading space. See our list of the best JFSA brokers to get started today.

FAQs

What Is The JFSA?

The JFSA is the Financial Services Agency of Japan and the main regulator of local financial services. It creates regulations and rules governing financial companies, such as trading brokers. It also enforces its requirements and standards. Note, a licensed entity search is available on its online register.

Is The Japanese FSA Tough On Cryptocurrency?

The JFSA has taken robust action to protect crypto traders, for example, tightening the rules following coin thefts from exchanges in 2018. With that said, their requirements are similar to those of many global regulators who are also taking a tougher stance in the digital currency space.

What Is The JFSA Investors Protection Fund?

The Investors Protection Fund secures the capital of investors should a licensed firm go bankrupt. It will pay a maximum of 10 million yen per investor in the event that a securities company goes bankrupt.

What Enforcement Powers Does The Japan FSA Have?

The JFSA has powers to issue fines, imprison individuals and order the cessation of corporate activities. Its powers and responsibilities are in line with other top regulators like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

What Is The Maximum Forex Leverage That The JSFA Allows?

The JFSA imposes a maximum leverage rate of 1:25 for retail forex traders. These rules are relatively stringent so many brokers are registered with other, more relaxed regulators.