The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Japan Financial Services Agency announced terms for increased cooperation and collaboration.

In an exchange of letters, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and JFSA Commissioner Hirofumi Gomi laid out the terms to establish the agenda for an ongoing dialogue between the two agencies. The JFSA oversees Japan's banking, securities and exchange, and insurance industries.

The discussion has two main objectives -- first, to identify and discuss regulatory issues of common concern, and second, to promote cooperation in the exchange of information in cross-border securities enforcement matters.

The dialogue will be composed of regular meetings and informal information exchanges at both the staff level and between high-level representatives of the SEC and JFSA.

The following topics have been identified for discussion for the 2006 dialogue, although additional subjects may be added:

  • Accounting and auditing standards;
  • Corporate governance and internal controls;
  • Approaches to facilitating technological advances in securities markets;
  • Cross-border cooperation and information sharing on enforcement matters;
  • Approaches to regulated entities and market intermediaries; and,
  • Approaches to self-regulated entities and rating agencies.

The U.S.-Japan Financial Sector Working Group, led by the JFSA and the U.S. Treasury Department, will continue to work on issues addressing the broader financial sector.In a separate release, the SEC announced that Cox will undergo surgery for removal of a thymoma on Jan. 30, and will be hospitalized for a few days.
According to WebMD, thymoma is a disease in which malignant cancer cells are found in the tissues of the thymus, a small organ that lies under the breastbone and produces white blood cells to fight infection. Thymoma is usually a slow-growing tumor that does not spread beyond the thymus.

"I look forward to returning to my duties very quickly," said Cox, in a statement. "I plan to be back in the office in mid-February." According to the SEC, a full recovery is expected, and it is anticipated that the surgery will complete the necessary treatment for the condition.

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