Representatives of the International Accounting Standards Board and the Accounting Standards Board of Japan met Thursday and Friday in Tokyo to discuss their new relationship through the recently established Accounting Standards Advisory Forum as their one-to-one meetings come to an end.

The IASB and its parent organization, the IFRS Foundation, established the advisory forum to provide a more multilateral approach to setting International Financial Reporting Standards, after the decade-long bilateral convergence efforts between the IASB and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board still has left wide range of unresolved differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP.

The ASAF held its inaugural meeting last month, with representatives from both the U.S. and Japan in attendance (see Accounting Standards Advisory Forum Holds First Meeting).

The Japanese standard-setter has also been consulting regularly with the IASB, and this week’s meeting in Tokyo marked the seventeenth in a series of meetings between the boards since March 2005.

During the meeting, the boards discussed projects on the IASB’s agenda, including financial instruments, insurance contracts and the revision of the IASB’s Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting. However, this week’s meeting will be the last in the series of twice-yearly bilateral meetings between the IASB and the ASBJ. At the same time, the boards plan to continue to cooperate closely through regular communication between their organizations, with the Japanese standard-setter providing representatives on the IASB and contributing to the IASB’s research projects.

In response to the recommendation set out in the Trustees’ Strategy Review 2011, the IFRS Foundation established the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum, a technical advisory body to the IASB consisting of national accounting standard-setters and regional bodies associated with accounting standard-setting, on which the ASBJ is represented. The ASAF has been designed to replace multiple, bilateral agreements between the IASB and individual standard-setters like FASB and the ASBJ with a single ASAF agreement. 

"I look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the ASBJ,” said IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst in a statement. “I have always attached great value to the inputs of our Japanese counterparts and I expect to continue to visit Japan and the ASBJ on a regular basis. We will continue to cooperate closely, including in terms of research and the exchange of staff."

ASBJ chairman Ikuo Nishikawa said the two boards had a very fruitful discussion at this week’s meeting, as with previous meetings. “This periodic bilateral meeting may come to an end, but the ASBJ will continue its contribution to the development of high-quality global accounting standards, particularly through the ASAF,” he stated. “In addition, the ASBJ will continue to communicate closely with the IASB through various means.”

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