Purpose – The purpose of this study is to provide a rigorous and holistic analysis of the main features of the Japanese accounting environment. It also raises issues related to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Japan. Design/methodology/approach – For the purpose of investigating the Japanese accounting system, this study applies the accounting ecology framework developed by Gernon and Wallace (1995) and provides a content analysis of relevant meetings of the Business Accounting Council of Japan. Findings – The findings of this study provide evidence that it would be problematic to require the adoption of IFRS for all listed companies in Japan. The main reason for this is that the Japanese policymakers and standard-setting bodies follow two objectives: enhancing the international comparability of financial reporting and maintaining institutional complementarity between financial reporting and other infrastructures such as accounting-related laws. Research limitations/implications – This study is relevant for accounting researchers and professionals with an interest in Japanese accounting practices. It is also useful for the International Accounting Standards Board and representatives of countries planning to adopt IFRS in the future. Originality/value – The findings of this study show that contextual issues such as social, organizational and professional environments cannot be ignored in the adoption of IFRS in Japan.
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
- Global convergence of financial reporting
- Japanese accounting system