Japan to amend forex laws to address loopholes for sanctions on Russia

March 28, 2020

By Priyanka Shetty

Japan will revise its foreign exchange regulation to stop Russia from evading Western monetary sanctions via cryptocurrencies, high-ranking officials said on Monday.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The authorities will submit a revision of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act to the current parliament session to reinforce protection in opposition to potential sanctions-busting by Russia through digital assets, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said in a press conference.
  • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also called for the law to be redrafted in a Monday parliament session, where he emphasised on the need for synchronised moves with Western allies after attending last week’s Group of Seven summit in Belgium.
  • The revision “presumably enables the government to apply the law to crypto-asset exchanges like banks and oblige them to scrutinise whether their clients are Russian sanction targets,” said Saisuke Sakai, senior economist at Mizuho Research and Technologies.
  • On March 7, Japan decided to expand its sanctions on wealthy Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and officials in the Putin administration. So far the Japanese government has already slapped asset-freeze sanctions on more than 100 Russian officials, oligarchs, banks and other institutions.
  • Japan is also banning exports of Russia-bound oil refinery equipment and Belarus-bound general-purpose items that could be used by its military, the ministry said.

About the author

Based in Bengaluru, Priyanka Shetty is a freelance writer for Blockchain Asset Review

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