Briefing

Senior Japanese government official calls for digital yen within three years

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Kozo Yamamoto, head of the banking systems research commission, wants the government to include a plan in its mid-year policy guidelines to create its own digital currency. (Reuters)

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Talking point: Yamamoto has significant heft in the ruling Liberal Democratic party, particularly on economic issues. He helped design Abenomics, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus policy. Yamamoto said he’d work to push the government with former economy minister Akira Amari, who called for a digital currency last month. China is getting closer to launching its own digital currency, and Facebook continues to work on its Libra coin, though it has lost eight prominent backers. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Union are also exploring digital currencies and, as The Logic reported in October 2019, the Bank of Canada is considering launching a digital coin to combat the “direct threat” of cryptocurrencies.