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Japan to Amend Forex Policy as Russia Continues to Leverage Crypto

The Japanese government is ready to amend its foreign exchange policy. This move is part of global efforts to bar Russia from avoiding financial restrictions via crypto.

Japan to Block all Loopholes

Japan is not the first nation to revise its laws in the aftermath of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian Federation is reportedly leveraging digital assets as escape routes to ameliorate the effect of Western sanctions. Due to this, nations like Japan world have begun reviewing crypto regulation and other related policies.

In a statement, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno spoke regarding Japan’s plans. According to the Chief, the government will present a revised copy of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act to the current parliament session. The end goal is to increase the nation’s resistance to Russia’s chosen methods for bypassing sanctions.

An official in Japan’s Ministry of Finance revealed that there were ongoing discussions regarding the new revisions. However, he declined to disclose any further information. Speculating, Saisuke Sakai, a top economist at Mizuho Research and Technologist shared his thoughts. Sakai believes the proposed alterations are likely to grant the government leeway to make security demands on crypto exchange platforms. Crypto-focused businesses will likely have to review their customer base to identify “Russian sanction targets.”

Japan Continues to Actively Oppose Russia’s Actions

During a Monday parliament session, the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida expressed support for the move, urging the amendment forward. Kishida pointed out the need for Japan to act jointly with Western allies. This came following his attendance at the recent Group of Seven Summit held in Belgium. 

Japan has not been lax or reserved in its opposition to Russia post-invasion. Earlier this month, the nation directed its local crypto exchanges to halt dealings with sanctioned Russian institutions and individuals. Alongside other Group of Seven nations, Japan froze the Russian central bank’s forex assets. This way, it effectively cut off access to tens of billions of dollars. 

Japan has frozen the assets of over 100 Russian officials, oligarchs, banks, and other organizations. In addition to this, the Japanese government has also restricted high-tech exports to Russia. It has also rescinded the European nation’s most-favored-nation trade status.

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Since the war began, there have been speculations that Russia could be turning to crypto to mitigate sanctions. Earlier in the month, major exchange Coinbase cracked down on more than 25,000 Russian wallets. As a result of measures like this, Russian Minister Segei Mironov urged for the quick development of a digital ruble.

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