Japan Decides Against Bitcoin Regulation, for Now

Ruling party, the LDP, has ruled out regulation for now, but a final decision is yet to be made.

AccessTimeIconJun 19, 2014 at 11:49 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:53 a.m. UTC

Japan’s ruling political party has announced that it is against regulating bitcoin for the time being.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) made the statement as an interim measure, but the final decision will be made after hearing “more opinions” on the matter, said LDP lawmaker Takuya Hirai.

"Basically, we concluded that we will, for now, avoid a move towards legal regulation," Hirai told Reuters.

Mt. Gox fallout

Following the highly publicised collapse of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, Japanese authorities found themselves in the glare of the world's media spotlight.

The exchange was incorporated in Japan and several politicians were quick to demand rigorous regulation of the currency, including Senior Finance Minister Jiro Aichi who called for an international effort on bitcoin regulation in late February. There was no shortage of opposition, however.

Japan’s regulators argue that international collaboration is necessary due to the global nature of digital currencies, which easily transcend various jurisdictions and can be used to exploit loopholes in international law.

The Liberal Democratic Party launched an investigative committee into bitcoin back in March, later issuing a statement saying that bitcoin is not a currency, but stressing that it remains taxable. Japan had started looking into ways of taxing bitcoin in the weeks following the Mt. Gox collapse.

So far none of these efforts have resulted in new legislation for bitcoin or digital currencies in general. Judging by Hirai's latest statement, the nation is certainly in no rush.


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