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NASD Pushes Japan Exchange Launch Forward

Following this week's well-received opening of the Mothers exchange in Japan, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Osaka Stock Exchange Friday said the Nasdaq Japan venture will be launched six months early.

While full trading will not be offered until the end of the year, the NASD, which oversees the Nasdaq Stock Market in the United States, will work with OSE and rely on the Osaka exchange's system to allow several early launches, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The deadline push was inspired by the new Mothers exchange, the short form for the Market of the High-Growth and Emerging Stocks. Internet plays Liquid Audio Japan and IRI opened on Mothers this week to a frenzy of investor interest. Currently, the exchange is only taking bid orders, but full service is expected to hit next week, according to reports.

Regulatory services for the Nasdaq Japan will initially be provided by the OSE, and in return the OSE will share in Nasdaq Japan's profits, though it will not have a stake in the new exchange.

The bad news for non-Japanese companies without local subsidiaries is that such listings are slated as the last entries to hop into the system, possibly by late next year, the Journal report said.

Nasdaq Japan is a joint venture between NASD and Internet heavyweight Softbank, which announced its plans to bring the exchange to Japan earlier this year.