A senior lawmaker of Japan’s ruling party has advised the government to include plans for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in its mid-year policy guidelines and look to launch its digital yen in two to three years.
Japanese Lawmakers Angling for CBDC
According to Reuters, the head of the banking and finance systems research commission at Japan’s ruling party, Kozo Yamamoto, has proposed for the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to create and launch its digital yen cryptocurrency within two to three years.
As part of a panel advising the government to include plans for Japan’s CBDC in its mid-year policy guidelines, the Liberal Democratic Party legislator remarked that:
“The sooner the better. We’ll draft proposals to be included in government’s policy guidelines, and hopefully make it happen in two-to-three years… If each country manages to control flows of money with their own (digital) currencies, that could prevent a big swing at a time of crisis and stabilize their own economy.”
Yamamoto’s comments align with previous rhetoric from Akira Amari, a ruling party heavyweight and former Minister of Economy. Amari reportedly wants Japan to launch its CBDC as China has made moves towards issuing its own digital currency.
As China is home to some 1.3 billion people and could potentially dominate the digital economy with widespread adoption in emerging economies through the issuance of its e-yuan, Amari and Yamamoto believe Japan must launch its own CBDC soon to ensure competitiveness and foster digital hegemony.
Meanwhile, Japan may be looking to push the CBDC agenda at the upcoming G7 summit in June, as reported by BTCManager. Back in November 2019, the BoJ revealed on-going research into cryptocurrencies and the potential introduction of a sovereign digital currency in the country. However, Haruhiko Kuroda, the Governor of the BoJ stated the central bank was not ready to issue a CBCD at the time.
More Countries Considering Sovereign Digital Currencies
Outside Asia, CBDCs are becoming a topic of conversation for central bankers in the U.S. and Europe. Members of a CBDC think tank from central banks in countries like Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden are set to meet for their inaugural brainstorming event in April 2020.
European Union (EU) stakeholders also say the European Central Bank (ECB) should pursue the creation of CBDC not only prevent China from taking center stage in the emerging digital economy but as a counter to private crypto projects like Facebook’s Libra.