The National Association of Mortgage Brokers has signed a cooperation agreement with the Japanese Mortgage Planners Association at the U.S. group's first-ever NAMB West conference in Las Vegas.Shinya Imura, who founded the JMPA, said the group started only last June, although the entire project is about five years old. He has even created a textbook to educate potential mortgage planners, which he is modeling after financial planners in Japan. Don Takao Dogami, another member of the JMPA delegation, said NAMB is helping with the education program, which will be modified for the Japanese system. JMPA is looking to introduce the American system to Japan and "for that we need NAMB's help," Mr. Dogami said. Right now, banks do the majority of the mortgage originations in Japan, although with the rise of securitization, a mortgage banker business is developing. Currently there are no active mortgage planners (as the mortgage brokers will be called) in Japan. NAMB president George Hanzimanolis said his organization is "looking forward to learning from your culture," and is looking to form a strong bond with JMPA.

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