Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has launched a Web3 Policy Office to develop the country’s Web3 business framework.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) has a new office, which will be called the Web3 Policy Office in the Minister’s Secretariat.
On one hand, this new body aims to bring together departments normally responsible for industrial finance, taxation, corporate systems (vehicles), and other business environment issues. On the other hand, it will also bring together those responsible for media and content, sports, fashion, and other relevant industries.
All the aforementioned are expected to work with the Digital Agency and other relevant ministries. The goal is to strengthen the framework for business issues related to Web3.
Understanding the Web3 Policy Office
In a whitepaper released in connection to the launch of the Web3 Policy Office, it was implied that the purpose for the institution of this new office is the widespread prominence of blockchain technology. It said the “trend toward using tokens such as crypto-assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the basis for creating new value and using blockchains to manage and use data (Web3)” has spread on a global scale.
What’s more, Metaverses have grown to unfathomable proportions. The whitepaper cites that these virtual worlds have become new personal interfaces, especially among the younger generations. The whitepaper surmises digital spaces and assets will become more important in the coming days, dramatically increasing their business value.
The announcement about the launch of the Web3 Policy Office specified the new office’s mission:
“Given that some entrepreneurs pursuing Web3-related business are leaving Japan for opportunities overseas, deliberations toward developing the business environment in Japan need to be accelerated.”
The Web3 Policy Office’s establishment is to accurately assess the potentials and risks associated with the trends mentioned above. Moreover, there is an increased need to accelerate deliberations toward developing Japan’s business environment, with some Japanese entrepreneurs leaving the country to take advantage of Web3-related business opportunities overseas.
METI aims to address the above issues by formulating policies through collaborative efforts from several departments responsible for Web3. Before the Web3 Policy Office was launched, the enactment of the policies was coursed through different bureaus within the Ministry. Thus, this new office could be more than a consultancy body.
Per the announcement, the Web3 Policy Office will collate information from business operators, investors, legal professionals, engineers, and other parties concerning various issues facing business environments in Japan and overseas. Then, the office will work with relevant ministries and agencies to develop the Web3 business environment.
Japan’s Metaverse Endeavors
Japan is welcoming the Web3 and the Metaverse spaces with arms wide open. Just this month, the University of Tokyo, also known as Todai, announced that it would start offering Metaverse courses this upcoming academic year. These courses will be offered to junior high and high school students and to adult learners who are already part of the workforce.
Another testament to Japan’s application of the Metaverse in recent months is when 29 trade schools under the NSG College League in Niigata held their 2022 commencement ceremonies in the Metaverse. The country also launched a virtual support room for Hikkikomori in the SecondLife Metaverse platform.
However, despite these striking Web3 developments in Japan, some Japanese regulators are airing their concerns on general cryptocurrency regulation. An unnamed source “close to both industry and government” who spoke with journalists a few weeks ago said the country’s current model of cryptocurrency regulation is weakening.
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