The parent organization of the International Accounting Standards Board has opened its first regional office abroad, choosing Tokyo as the location of the London-based IFRS Foundation’s Asia-Oceania office.

The office will provide support to the entire Asia-Oceania region with matters related to the development, adoption and consistent application of International Financial Reporting Standards.

The opening of an Asia-Oceania regional office reflects the commitment of the IFRS Foundation, as stated in its 2011 Strategy Review, to become a truly global accounting standard-setting body.

The new regional office will provide the IASB with a local presence in the Asia-Oceania region, supporting greater regional outreach and participation in the IASB’s standard-setting activities.  Furthermore, the Asia Oceania office is expected to develop into an important regional research hub, thus ensuring that conceptual input from the Asia-Oceania region is fed directly into the IASB’s due process and at an early stage.

“The Asia-Oceania region is home to some of the largest capital markets and fastest growing economies in the world,” IFRS Foundation chairman Michel Prada said in a statement. “It is also a highly diverse region, hence the need to establish a local presence to ensure that views across the region are heard and considered as part of the standard-setting process. It was for these reasons that locating our first international office in this region made perfect sense. Many jurisdictions across the Asia-Oceania region have already adopted IFRS, while others have already made substantial progress in their transitional arrangements. I would also like to thank the Japanese Financial Accounting Standards Foundation for their generous and considerable support in helping to establish this first international office.”

The IASB has been moving to broaden its international reach and recently announced that it would be setting up a new Accounting Standards Advisory Forum consisting of national accounting standard-setters and regional bodies with an interest in financial reporting. Among the regional organizations expected to participate in the new forum is the Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group (see FASB Expected to Participate in New IASB Accounting Standards Group).

The new forum reflects the IASB’s determination to migrate to a more multilateral form of standard-setting after the decade-long convergence effort between the IASB and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board has failed to achieve an official determination from the Securities and Exchange Commission that IFRS can be incorporated into the U.S. financial reporting system.

The opening of the Asia-Oceania regional office in Tokyo was presided over by Prada along with Japanese Financial Accounting Standards Foundation president Toshitaka Hagiwara. A keynote speech was provided by Japanese Minister for Financial Services Ikko Nakatsuka.

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