The Japan Justice Ministry announces its intentions to implement laws to deal with criminals’ digital assets. According to various sources, the ministry is trying to give police officers and other law enforcers the right to confiscate digital assets if the owner is found guilty of a crime.
Cryptocurrency has become a new medium for money launderers and the black market to do transactions. Despite the distributed ledger technology, the criminals have been smart enough to escape the authorities and launder money digitally.
Many countries around the world have banned cryptocurrency for this very reason. The governments believe if cryptocurrency comes to the surface, the crackdown against money launderers will become more difficult.
Japan’s Justice Ministry is also concerned about the increasing money laundering cases through cryptocurrencies. A Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the ministry plans to amend the Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Proceeds of Crime Act (1999), a law that enables law enforcement agencies to seize the physical assets and monetary receivables.
Since digital assets now hold monetary value, the ministry officials feel it should be the country’s priority to include the latest laws that will help in catching criminals. As of now, no law in Japan gives law enforcers the authority to confiscate digital assets so they can easily exploit their financial resources if they have any.
Japan Ministry seeks Legislative Council’s opinion
The Japan Justice Ministry seems adamant about revising the existing law. The ministry will seek the Legislative Council’s opinion on the matter and will make the final decision in the coming weeks.
Legislative Council is an organization comprising civil and criminal law experts. The council is closely linked with the Justice Ministry as it advises them regarding various matters before fully implementing them.
Once the discussion between both parties is done, the law is expected to be implemented within this month.
Legislative steps for law amendment
Amending the existing law is most likely to come with many legal obstacles. Since this case is related to digital assets, the ministry will need to sketch out practical and logical regulations in the amendment act.
The ministry must highlight specific details of how police officers and law enforcers should seize control over private keys to criminals’ wallets while ensuring no one abuses their power of control.
After the proper proposal is drafted, it will be sent to Cabinet for approval, then to the parliament. Once it’s approved everywhere, the amendment will be officially made to Japan’s law.
The Japan Justice Ministry also hopes that the law would also include a crackdown against hackers and individuals that stole digital assets. The lawmakers are motivated to create a perfect law that leaves no loopholes for individuals to exploit or abuse.
Just recently, the ministry passed a bill for investor and trader protection against risks of stablecoins. Seeing the recent events of the UST stablecoin collapse, Japan’s Financial Services Agency will also bring new regulations for the issuance of stablecoin in the upcoming months.
Japan’s regulated economy to open doors
The Japanese government and agencies are constantly involved with the latest technological and financial developments. The recent amendments to laws for crypto regulation have enabled many crypto exchanges and firms to bring their business into the country.
Japan is ready to welcome the digital economy by regulating it and adopting it in its economic structure. This will help the country to develop while keeping everyone under the radar.
Unlike other countries that completely banned cryptocurrency due to increasing cyber crimes, Japan’s Justice Ministry is taking a better step by implementing regulatory laws.
Although amending the crypto regulation law might be challenging, once implemented, it will ensure the country remains up-to-date with technology while maintaining the rule & laws of the country.