E-Trade Group Inc. introduced an on-line trading site in Japan on Friday.

E-Trade Japan -- a joint venture with Softbank Corp., a Tokyo-based Internet concern -- will initially offer Japanese equities and mutual funds, news, stock quotes, and mutual fund reports from Morningstar Japan.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company launched the site Oct. 1 to coincide with the deregulation of Japanese brokerage commission rates, which lets brokers determine the commission structure for securities trades. E-Trade will be able to take advantage of this move to offer low commissions in Japan.

The site is E-Trade's sixth outside the United States and the fourth it has started this year. Judy Balint, president and chief operating officer of E-Trade International, said in a prepared statement that the company's goal is to establish "the world's first global, cross-border trading network."

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