Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, has come out in support of blockchain as a potential solution for technological issues facing the country.
In response to questioning from Liberal Democratic Party member Masaaki Taira before the Budget Committee of Japan’s House of Representatives on Feb. 1, Kishida said there were “various possibilities for using Web3” in Japan. He added that the Japanese government could use aspects including nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) in efforts to revitalize regions and promote ‘Cool Japan’ — a national strategy aimed at showing off the country’s innovations and culture to the rest of the world.
“If you consider DAOs, people who are interested in the same social issues can form a new community,” said Kishida. “NFTs can also be used to diversify the income of creators and maintain highly loyal fans.”
Taira chairs the government’s task force on Web3 policy. He pointed to coordination with tax authorities in Japan as well as research into releasing a digital yen — the country’s central bank announced in November it planned to start a pilot program for a digital currency starting in spring 2023.
“I think that these types of blockchain technology and technology using Web3 are effective in solving the various problems we have,” said Taira.
Since taking office in October 2021, Kishida has occasionally spoken on the Japanese government’s intentions of investing in Web3 services as part of the country’s digital transformation. In September, his cabinet allowed the issuance of NFTs as a reward for regional authorities using digital technology to solve problems.
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The deputy director-general of Financial Services Agency’s Strategy Development and Management Bureau of Japan has called for more stringent rules on crypto akin to those of banks. Amid the crypto market downtown, exchanges including Coinbase and Kraken have shuttered operations in Japan, while the local subsidiary of bankrupt firm FTX has until March 9 to suspend business.