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Accounting for the public interest: a Japanese perspective

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Purpose ‐ To expand one's understanding about how accounting helps to shape, mediate and constitute the public interest, the private interest, and their relationships. Design/methodology/approach ‐ An interpretive approach is utilized to analyze the documents that have both informed and legitimized the Japanese financial regulatory changes since the end of 1970s. Findings ‐ The paper finds that the concepts of private and public interest, and their relationships have been mutable in the deployment of accounting rhetoric. The concept of private interest was given more concrete shape as the market-oriented reform advanced in the name of public interest. Originality/value ‐ This paper sheds light on the constructing role of accounting in society, which in turn helps to understand changing conceptualizations of the public interest, the private interest, and their relationships.
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Keywords: Disclosure; Finance; Public interest; Regulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2005

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