The Japan government has stated in its annual policy roadmap that the country will look closer into whether to issue central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). According to a Reuters report, the Japan government has urged the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to liaise with other countries to jointly examine the feasibility of a CBDC. The report noted that this is the government’s first-ever reference to digital currency in the annual plan.
The policy roadmap which serves as guidance for the government’s long-term economic and fiscal policies statedthat BoJ will coordinate with other countries to consider CBDCs by examining and verifying technological tests.
According to the report, efforts by social media giant Facebook, to launch its Libra stablecoin have compelled major economies to explore the issuance of their own digital currencies. Notable among these giant economies who are leading the drive towards issuing their CBDC is China.
This prompted some Japanese ruling party lawmakers to urgethe country to catch up. However, the Japanese government and its central bank have been cautious about moving too fast into issuing a CBDC. They are still considering the legal barriers and social disruption it may cause the county.
Though the BoJ has said it has no immediate plans to issue a digital currency, it is still conducting research with other central banks on the issue. As part of measures to boost digital payment system in the country, the government is seeking a cut in interbank transfer fees.
The move was included in this year’s economic growth strategy that was approved by the cabinet alongside the annual policy plan. The government noted in the growth strategy that it would make it easier for working people to take on multiples jobs. It also said it will come up with new rules for freelance work.