Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group has announced plans to launch an innovation lab to facilitate fintech innovation.

The new lab will be based within the Fintech Center of Tokyo Finolab that is operated by Mitsubishi Estate, Dentsu, and Information Services International–Dentsu.

The new facility will allow Mizuho to collaborate with fintech firms to create an environment for open innovation.

Mizuho said it will initially collaborate with companies and startups within FinoLab to accelerate technical trials of new services based on the development environment of Mizuho's Open Bank API.

The Open Bank API, expected to launch in the near future, will allow a third party to interface with the bank's IT system to access customer data and create more diverse financial services.

The latest initiative by Mizuho follows similar moves taken by other banking groups in the recent times. Last month, Spanish lender BBVA announced plans to create an innovation hub in Dallas. In the same month, Deutsche Bank also opened its digital factory in Frankfurt to support innovation.

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In July 2016, India’s Axis Bank set up an innovation lab in Bengaluru to collaborate with fintech startups. In August 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) followed a similar approach and launched its fintech innovation lab.