Japan is still undecided about a national digital currency

Will Japan, or won’t Japan when it comes to CBDCs?

This month, the Bank of Japan began experiments to test the technical feasibility of a central bank digital currency, with the phase 1 of the project expected to last one year.

But the central bank has also cautioned that this is a just-in-case project with no timeline for implementation or launch. In fact, the Bank of Japan has repeatedly stated that it does not see an actual need for Japan to issue a CBDC — an uncertain prospect that is leaving some quarters in Japan feeling impatient.

Japan needs to hurry up with its study on central bank digital currencies to build up expertise and get ready for the future digital economy so that the country will not fall behind other nations, several experts told Forkast.News.

“The biggest benefit to introduce CBDC in Japan is to speed up the efforts to shift to a cashless society,” said Takahide Kiuchi, the executive economist with Nomura Research Institute. “Digitalization is inevitable for today’s business, economy and society to increase efficiency, and demand for the currency and payment system tailored for the digitalized world will only grow.”

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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