Japan bank stocks at the woodshed again...

Does this headline sound familiar?

Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Japan's second largest lender by assets, tumbled 7.9 percent and Aiful Corp., the country's biggest non-bank finance company by sales, plunged 8.3 percent after Credia Co. filed for bankruptcy protection.

Mizuho fell 52,000 yen to 605,000, dropping the most since Aug. 1. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., the country's third-largest bank, fell 42,000 yen, or 5.1 percent, to 776,000. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan's biggest lender by assets, dropped below the 1 million yen level for the first time since Aug. 10, 2005, losing 41,000 yen, or 3.9 percent, to 990,000.

Japan's three biggest banks lost a combined 1.5 trillion yen ($13 billion) of their market value today. The Topix Banks Index slumped 5.3 percent, the second-worst performance among the 33 industry groups in the benchmark.

Mitsubishi UFJ's first quarter profit fell 31 percent this year partly because an increase in risky loans at its consumer lender unit, Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos Co., led to higher credit expenses. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. holds a 20 percent stake in Promise Co., Japan's No. 3 consumer lender.

Sanken Electric Co. dropped by the exchange-imposed daily limit of 100 yen, or 15 percent, to 554 after the maker of cold cathode fluorescent lamps slashed its full-year profit forecast by 61 percent, citing weaker-than-expected demand and falling prices.

Tokyo Seimitsu Co., the world's biggest producer of grinders that make silicon wafers for memory chips thinner, fell 500 yen, or 16 percent, to 2,700 after the company lowered its profit forecast because of weaker demand and two brokerages cut their ratings on the shares.

Bank of America Corp. warned that market turmoil will have a ``meaningful impact'' on earnings, as fallout from the subprime-mortgage crisis spread further into the nation's financial system

Well, the barely rising sun seems like its going to set again....

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