Japan mulls all-in-one super bourse 1 hour, 47 minutes ago AFP Japan is considering a merger of its stock, commodity and other financial markets to boost their competitiveness in an increasingly fierce global environment, an official said Tuesday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's top economic policy-setting panel on Tuesday proposed facilitating the integration of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and other financial markets into one super exchange, the Cabinet Office official said. The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which includes Japan Business Federation chairman Fujio Mitarai, made the proposal as part of efforts to help Japan's financial markets cope with rapid globalisation. Under the proposal, the TSE could incorporate other markets such as the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the Tokyo Financial Exchange and the Tokyo Grain Exchange into a holding company it plans to set up later this year. The panel also suggested that Japan should lower the fire wall between banks and securities firms, so that financial firms can provide a greater range of products to their customers, the official said. "The fire wall remains relatively high in Japan, compared to the United States," he said. Although the proposals have not been adopted by the government as official policy, local media reports suggest the plan could be incorporated into the government's policy blueprint, due out in June. "Once these plans are agreed, their implementation has to be quick, considering the rapid pace of globalisation in the financial world," the official said. The TSE, Asia's largest bourse, has been pursuing a series of tie-ups in response to intense global competition. A private company, the TSE in February signed a business alliance with the London Stock Exchange just weeks after signing a similar agreement with the New York Stock Exchange. The Tokyo bourse has also held talks with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest US futures market, as well as with Germany's Deutsche Boerse, while seeking to bolster cooperation with regional Asian bourses. The alliance comes against a backdrop of increased merger and acquisition activity among the world's major stock exchanges. In June, the NYSE announced a 10-billion-dollar merger with pan-European exchange operator Euronext to create the world's first intercontinental market.