ASBJ and IASB Meet to Review Progress in Achieving Convergence in Accounting Standards

The Accounting Standards Board of Japan (ASBJ) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have held their ninth meeting to accelerate convergence of Japanese generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). Led by Ikuo Nishikawa, chairman of the ASBJ, and Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the IASB, the meeting was held in Tokyo on 11 and 12 March 2009.

As part of this meeting, representatives of the IASB provided an update on the progress of projects described by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed in 2006 by the IASB and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and updated in 2008.

Representatives of the ASBJ explained that the convergence project to eliminate major differences between Japanese GAAP and IFRSs in use (as defined by the July 2005 CESR assessment of equivalence) was completed on schedule at the end of 2008, and continuous efforts towards convergence of IFRSs and Japanese GAAP as described by the Tokyo Agreement are progressing well. In addition, the representatives of the ASBJ provided an overview of the Draft Interim Report Application of International Financial Reporting Standards in Japan issued in February 2009 by the Planning and Coordination Committee of the Business Accounting Council regarding potential use of IFRSs by listed companies in Japan.

Representatives of the boards exchanged views on the following important items, which are the subject of recent discussion papers or exposure drafts published by the IASB:

  • Financial instruments.
  • Revenue recognition.
  • Consolidation (including special purpose entities).
  • Financial statement presentation.

Representatives of the boards believe that their discussions will contribute to the future development of high quality accounting standards on the significant items to be improved in the medium and long term. They also reaffirmed that it is essential for the boards to continue to co-operate closely, and for the ASBJ to continue to participate actively in the IASB’s standard-setting process.

The next meeting of the boards is scheduled for September 2009 in London, United Kingdom.


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