The Changing World of the CPAs in Japan

Hiroshi Oda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses CPA system reform in Japan. The necessity for reform of the accounting system, aimed at increased transparency for investors, has been recognised in Japan for some time. It coincided with the Japanese Big Bang, a major reform intended to create a free, fair, and global financial system. In the late 1990s, the reform proposals became broader in scope following growing criticisms of the profession concerning the CPAs' failure to expose the window-dressing which brought down some securities companies and banks. These proposals largely resorted to self-regulation by the Japan Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA). The JICPA accordingly introduced various measures to increase the effectiveness of the audits by the CPAs. However, after the Enron/WorldCom affairs, influenced by the US, the tide seems to have changed. Further reinforcement of the independence of the CPAs from the client companies, and above all broader grounds for interference by the government, were proposed and eventually became law. The amended CPA Law has been significantly influenced by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, although the profession has managed to reach some compromises.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorporate Governance in Context
Subtitle of host publicationCorporations, States, and Markets in Europe, Japan, and the US
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191700576
ISBN (Print)9780199290703
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 22
Externally publishedYes


  • Accountants
  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • CPA law
  • Sarbanes-oxley act

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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