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Time to ‘Redefine’ Crypto, Say Key Japan Lawmakers

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Time to ‘Redefine’ Crypto, Say Key Japan Lawmakers

Top Japanese lawmakers say it is time for the country to “redefine” crypto and its approach to regulation. The statements hint that further crypto reforms could be on their way in Tokyo.

Per the Japanese-language news outlet CoinPost, the comments came from two members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP): Seiji Kihara, the head of the party’s “blockchain promotion” group, and Masaaki Taira, the chair of the party’s web3 adoption unit.

Time to ‘Redefine’ Crypto Has Come, Japanese MPs Agree

The duo agreed on the need to “redefine” legal terms pertaining to cryptoassets “such as Bitcoin (BTC).”

Kihara said that tokens are “legally defined in Japan” as a “type of substitute for” terms like “currency” or “money.”

However, the lawmaker noted, these same tokens are currently viewed as “assets” in the investment products space. Kihara called this a “contradiction,” and explained:

“The [crypto] market has grown and people are now investing in [crypto-related] financial products. Despite this, the contradictions that arose from its legal beginnings as a money substitute remain. That means we need to redefine [crypto-related legal terms].”

Taira concurred, saying that because crypto “plays a role similar to that played by gold,” the related terminology “needs to be redefined.”

Doing so, Taira said, would let “financial institutions such as banks and securities companies” handle coins “in a more normal manner.”

The lawmaker noted that Japanese crypto exchanges and securities companies are currently governed by separate laws. And, Taira noted, the Japanese tax system “follows suit.”

More Crypto Reforms Incoming?

The nation’s crypto tax system, many critics claim, is overly restrictive and has led many Japanese blockchain startups to exit the nation.

The government has responded by agreeing to reform the tax rules governing corporations.

But campaigners continue to press Tokyo to reform tax rules for individuals. At present, crypto traders can face tax bills worth up to 55% of their profits.

The LDP, which has governed Japan since 1965, has this year indicated that it will indeed reform individual crypto tax rules.

A tax-related LDP white paper issued in April stated that crypto tax reform issues “should be addressed immediately.”

Taira has previously called on Tokyo to create a “minister of web3” to help accelerate blockchain-related growth in Japan.