A group of around 70 Japanese lawmakers from the nation’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is reportedly preparing a proposal that recommends issuing a virtual currency.
Norihiro Nakayama, a member of the party and parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs, stated (on January 24):
“China is moving toward issuing digital yuan, so we’d like to propose measures to counter such attempts.”
Japan’s virtual currency might be the result of a joint effort between the nation’s government and its technologically-advanced private sector, Nakayama confirmed, while noting that the group of lawmakers intends to finalize and submit its proposal to the government by next month (at the earliest).
The Bank of Japan recently teamed up with five other major reserve banks, including the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden) and the Swiss National Bank, in order to explore potential use cases and applications for issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
This latest news appears to further strengthen Japan’s ongoing efforts involving the development of a virtual yen. The nation’s prime minister Shinzo Abe also told the parliament that the government will be working cooperatively with the Bank of Japan in researching various virtual currencies and look for ways to improve the yen’s use as a way to settle transactions.
Reserve banks across the globe have been focused on exploring the potential benefits of CBDCs.
A recent survey from the Bank for International Settlements revealed that “some 40% of central banks have progressed from conceptual research to experiments or proofs-of-concept; and another 10% have developed pilot projects.”
There were reportedly 66 reserve banks that took part in the BIS’ survey, which was conducted during the second half of 2019.