On Oct 1, a technical glitch caused the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) to grind to a halt. The incident marks the first time trading on the world’s third-largest exchange has been disrupted for an entire day.
The problem was discovered on Thursday morning in Tokyo before trading opened, postponing the session’s start. A few hours later, Japan Exchange Group Inc., operator of the TSE, announced that trading would be suspended for the whole day.
According to the official announcement, the interruption was “due to a hardware failure, the switchover from the failed device to the backup device did not work properly, and as a result, market information could not be distributed.”
The TSE is currently scrambling to replace the hardware in question and take steps to ensure normal trading resumes on Friday. However, its worst-ever outage is likely to raise questions about the reliability of Asia’s largest exchange (by market capitalization) at a time when Japan is angling to become the region’s leading financial hub.
For its part, the TSE said it “sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused to investors.” After the incident, in a press conference, chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato called the glitch “very regrettable.” He also stated that there is no evidence of a cyberattack. Despite Kato’s denials, it didn’t take long for speculation of a malicious attack to surface.
Regardless of the cause, the glitch has shuttered one of the only Asian stock markets slated to be open on Oct 1. Per Nikkei, Chinese markets are closed due to the Golden Week holiday period, while exchanges in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan are also closed.