Japan’s largest IT services firm, NTT Data, has announced a new consortium aimed to investigate use cases for blockchain technology.

According to the company, the initiative so far includes 13 different companies drawn from the financial, logistical and trade industries.

Notable participants include Mizuho Financial Group, Mitsu Sumitomo Insurance, Nippon Express and Sojitz Corporation. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Toyota Tsusho and Kawasaki Kisen Corporation, and others, are also involved.

The effort, which will officially launch on August 30, is expected to run through next spring.

Perhaps informing the new group effort, NTT Data is no stranger to blockchain. The IT giant has already completed work on pilot programs for banks looking to test the issuance of letters of credit through blockchain, as well as partnering with insurance companies to explore the technology.

The announcement comes during a period of building momentum for blockchain development in Japan, which has even seen government agencies test the use of smart contracts.

More recently, a group of Japanese financial institutions successfully tested a prototype that uses distributed ledger technology to streamline international transaction agreements.

NTT Data image via YouTube/SAP SuccessFactors

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