Working under the assumption that 210 Japanese companies operating in Georgia can't be wrong, Yasuda Trust & Banking Co. Wednesday opened the first representative office of a foreign trust bank in Atlanta.

The Tokyo-based bank, the 25th largest in the world with trust and pension fund assets of $196 billion under management, is the 30th foreign bank to open an office in Atlanta. Eight other Japanese banks are included in that total.Yasuda Trust also boasts of commercial assets exceeding $75 billion. In addition, the bank is shareholders agent for 23 foreign companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the most of any Japanese bank.

The bank already maintains U.S. agency offices in New York and Los Angeles and a representative office in Chicago. New York also is the site of the bank's wholly owned subsidiary to oversee U.S. operations, Yasuda Bank & Trust Co. (USA) .

A foreign bank agency office can accept foreign deposits and make foreign and domestic loans but cannot accept domestic deposits. A representative office can solicit loans and deposits, but the transactions must be performed elsewhere.

At a press conference Wednesday to announce the opening, Masami Tachikawa, senior managing director from Tokyo, said Atlanta's position as the economic center of the southeastern United States was the most compelling reason to come to Atlanta to serve a growing 12-state region extending from Oklahoma to Virginia.

We want to help U.S. companies tap into the Japanese capital markets, as well as encourage overseas investment in Georgia and other southern states, Mr. Tachikawa said at the briefing in Georgia Gov. Joe Frank Harris' office.

The Atlanta office is headed by Keisuke Miyata, who said Yasuda Trust already has been appointed as currency transaction agent for two of the Southeast's largest corporations - Georgia-Pacific Corp. and Bellsouth Corp.

Mr. Miyata arrived in Atlanta in April after spending four years in Hong Kong as deputy general manager of Yasuda's merchant banking office there.