The long-term outlook for foreign firms getting involved in the newly-deregulated Japanese mutual fund industry appears to be bright, but progress will be slow, says a portfolio manager who handles investments in Japan for Credit Suisse Asset Management.

The main challenge for foreign firms is to introduce traditional Japanese investors to investment products they have not seen before, said Mark K. Silverstein, Credit Suisse Asset Management's head portfolio manager for global fixed-income products in Japan. Silverstein spoke at a lunch last week in New York sponsored by Credit Suisse Asset Management.

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