Japan’s New Minister of Science, Technology, and IT is Big on Blockchain Technology
Japan Gets Pro-Blockchain Minister of Science, Tech, IT
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe has appointed a pro-blockchain politician, Takuya Hirai, as Minister of Minister of Science, Technology, and IT.
According to reports, Hirai is one of the proponents of a regulation legalizing crypto exchanges in Japan last year. His appointment will see him head the affairs of the ministry with a mandate to oversee official government policy towards financial technologies, among other things.
Hirai is a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and has been at the forefront of charting the course of blockchain when he was Chair of the Liberal Democratic Party's IT Strategy Special Committee.
He comes to the role with a wealth of experience in policy-making with regards to the tech space. For instance, in 2015 he was involved in drafting Japan’s basic cybersecurity law,
Hirai had said that the LDP concluded that,
“The government will, for now, avoid a move towards legal regulation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).”
Being a pro-blockchain minister, observers say Hirai has already shown positivity towards Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) at the JBA (Japan Blockchain Association) meeting this August; he has also advised the ICO Business Study Group at Tama University's Rule Formation Strategy Institute.
In regards to progress in establishing futures rules “such as the creation of voluntary ICO regulations in the future, various support and efforts from the government are [to be] expected,” given the appointment of a figure that is well versed in crypto to the head post of the country’s Science, Technology, and IT Ministry.
It had been reported that Hirai’s advisory role at Tama University released a wide-ranging list of guidelines for the regulation and full legalization of ICOs in the country, which will reportedly be officially considered by Japan’s Financial Services Agency, and could eventually be passed into law in a few years’ time.
The guidelines included rules for anti-money-laundering (AML), know-your-customer (KYC) measures, tracking project progress, and protecting existing equity and debt holders.