Credit risk market
Credit spreads in Japan are not very transparent, but since the efforts of markits to promote their itraxx index also for Japan transparency is increasing. 50 companies are part of a five year index which is rolled over time. It is a relatively good indicator for the credit market in Japan. Consumer finance disturbed the index untitl end of September, 2009, but now one of them is taken out (the bond had a quite high spread) and the 'presentation' of the market improved. There is a plan to trade CDS on the Tokyo stock exchange beginning of 2010.
Since end of September the new 'markit' itraxx series is rolled out (nr. 12). The spread shrinked significantly, because the low rated consumer finance company Takefuji was taken out (see my info under 'sectors'). Overall the credit spreads for corporates in Japan remained quite stable in the last month. REITS, consumer finance and Daiwa securities are companies to better stay away from a 'default' risk point of view. In case you have an opinion you can make a good bet on those bonds.
A chart of the development of the credit spread of the Japan itraxx series can be found under the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) link. There is also a detailed explaination how the premium is adjusted in case of a default. This link has the latest CDS price.