Japanese lawmakers are working on a proposal to issue digital currency

Yogita Khatri

A group of about 70 lawmakers from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is working on a proposal to issue digital currency.

“China is moving toward issuing digital yuan, so we’d like to propose measures to counter such attempts,” Norihiro Nakayama, a member of the party and parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs, told Reuters on Friday.

Japan’s digital currency could be a joint effort between the country’s government and the private sector, said Nakayama, adding that the group plans to submit its proposal to the government as early as next month.

Just earlier this week, the Bank of Japan joined hands with five other major central banks - the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden) and the Swiss National Bank - to explore digital currencies.

Today's news strengthens Japan's efforts into studying a digital yen.  Notably, the country's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also told parliament today that the government will work with the Bank of Japan in researching digital currencies and find ways to increase yen’s convenience as a settlement means.

Central banks around the world have accelerated efforts to explore digital currencies. "Some 40% of central banks have progressed from conceptual research to experiments or proofs-of-concept; and another 10% have developed pilot projects,” according to the latest survey from the Bank for International Settlements. Sixty-six central banks responded to the BIS survey, which was carried out in "in the latter part of 2019.”