Tag Archive : Japanese

Japanese STO Association Sets Guidance for Crypto Asset Management

Japanese STO Association

The Japanese STO Association lays down specific guidelines for the management of separately held customer assets and privacy. 

Recently, the Japanese House of Representatives announced that the revised Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) will be enforced from May 1. In the latest development in this respect, The Japan Security Token Offering Association (JSTOA) has laid down a set of guidelines in regard to the separation of customer assets and electronic record transfer rights.

The Japanese STO Association held a meeting involving employees and the Board of Directors. In this meeting the number of rules were specified including those of electronic record transfer rights and management of customer assets. The meeting further stated that the JSTOA will monitor the management of separately held customer assets on a monthly basis along with certified public accountants and audits.

Moreover, in a quest to prevent investment solicitation, the board demanded a more lucid definition of digital asset sales to elderly customers so that it can outline specific guidelines regarding the same. – as the association believes that these people are more vulnerable to fraud.  

About the Japan Security Token Offering Association

The JSTOA is based in Tokyo and was founded in October last year. It was tasked to support the development of security token offering fundraising by involving industry experts while maintaining compliance with laws so that investors can be protected at all times. The JSTOA has backing from prominent names in japan like Nomura Securities, Rakuten Securities, SBI Securities, Monex, etc.

Crypto Regulations in Japan

Japan has been focusing on strengthening its regulatory compliance in regard to cryptocurrencies off late. As per schedule, the revised versions of the FIEA and Payment Services Act will come into effect from 1st May. 

Japanese Advertising Giant Dentsu Uses blockchain to Help Content Creators

One of the largest advertising firms in Japan, Dentsu partners with Kadokawa Ascii research laboratories to help content creators using blockchain technology.

As per the recent reports, the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Dentsuhas partnered with Kadokawa Ascii research laboratories to help content creators to be recognized in the market, using blockchain technology.

It is using a Proof of Concept to reward content creators, even if they use copyrighted content. As of now, it is targeting people commenting on popular Japanse comic, Manga, with live-stream applications. The news was confirmed by a local news outlet Nikkei newspaper.

Videos created by creators on YouTube and other popular live-streaming apps are often demonetized owing to copyright infringement issues. As a part of their collaboration, Dentsu and Kadokawa aim to make it easier for people making commentary videos on popular platforms to earn money, through blockchain, if they possibly use some copyrighted content.

On the other hand, it is also aiming to educate secondary and tertiary creators (people who comment on Manga using Livestream apps, and those who translate those into other languages respectively) about the range of allowed content in these platforms. 

Commenting on the partnership, a spokesperson from Dentsu said, “We want to integrate fans’ work that had previously not been valued as a legitimate market.”

The Japanese Government has recently taken an initiative to manage content creators and their work using blockchain technology. Under this initiative, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry announced last year that it will provide up to 50 million yen for companies with the same vision. 

Japanese Crypto Exchange bitFlyer to Add Support for BAT tokens

After adding support for XRP last year, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer will soon have Brave Browser’s BAT tokens available for trading. 

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, bitFlyer is soon adding support for Brave Browser’s BAT token. The news was confirmed by bitFlyer through a press release. BAT has recently gained trading approval from the FSA. This is the first time in four months that bitFlyer is bringing in some token for trading support. It added support for XRP in December 2019. 

About bitFlyer

bitFlyer was originally established in 2014, and today it is the largest crypto exchange in Japan in terms of the trading volume. It claims to offer top-notch security standards for virtual currency trading and is the only certified virtual currency exchange company in as many as three regions – Japan, Europe, and the US. 

Brave Browser and its Growing Popularity Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Brave browser first came into prominence when it sold $35 million BAT tokens in just under 1 minute in its 2017 ICO. In 2018, mobile manufacturing giant HTC made Brave browser the default browser in its blockchain phone Exodus.

Recently, BAT tokens were made available for trading in the Gemini exchange. So, Brave has had quite a good run ever since is 2017 ICO. 

However, what is striking, is the fact that Brave has increased its number of active users amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It is being speculated that Brave’s enhanced focus on user privacy is one of the prime reasons for its success.

Brave has positioned itself as a privacy-oriented rival Google Chrome. Interestingly, it has nearly doubled its user base from 2018 to 2019. 

Owing to the partnerships with Gemini and now bitFlyer, it would be interesting to note Brave’s progress in the near future. 


Japanese Self-Regulator BCA Lays down Blockchain Gaming Guidelines

In a quest to deal with gambling and online scams within the blockchain gaming space, a Japanese organization named The Blockchain Contents Association (BCA) has proposed a new set of guidelines. BCA is a self-regulatory organization that came into being last month. The entity aims to protect users from blockchain-based gaming and social media content. 

BCA Guidelines amid Japanese laws

Japan has a number of well-established casinos. However, gambling is still illegal in most places across Japan – be it online or physical. In this scenario, the BCA intends to safeguard blockchain-based gaming developers from any illegal inducement. Hence, the proposed guidelines. 

These guidelines are in line with local laws including the Law for Preventing Unjustifiable Extra or Unexpected Benefit and Misleading Representation, the Payment Services Act, and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. 

The idea is to clearly discriminate for gaming developers about what is gambling and what is not. 

Hironao Kunimitsu, president of the BCA commented, “Through the new guidelines, we aim to help our users use content with peace of mind and contribute to the healthy development of the blockchain contents industry in Japan.”

More about the BCA

As of now, the association is comprised of 10 companies including – Hakuhodo, advertisers, public relations firms, gumi, Startbahn, and double jump.tokyo. As per BCA, all member companies will have to abide by a set of pre-requisites, which may also be revised in the future. 

However, it is safe to say that BCA’s move is a step forward towards a legal and compliant adoption of blockchain gaming. 

Bribed Japanese Lawmaker Says He Never Took Bribes from 500.com

The lawmaker at the heart of the casino bribery scandal that shook Japan late last year stressed his innocence during a Friday press conference, telling journalists that he did not take bribes from a Chinese gambling firm seeking to win a license for a casino resort in Japan.

Tsukasa Akimoto, a former member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), was arrested in December 2019 on suspicion that he accepted cash and different special treatments from Chinese online sports lottery operator 500.com to spearhead its bid to build an integrated resort with a dedicated casino floor in Hokkaido alongside a Japanese tourism agency.

The lawmaker has repeatedly denied the bribery allegations leveled against him and said that he has never favored any company seeking to enter Japan’s nascent casino market. Mr. Akimoto was released this week after paying a JPY30 million (approx. $270,000) bail.

At a press conference that lasted about 20 minutes and took place on Friday in an office building for members of the government’s House of Representatives, Mr. Akimoto once again said that he was innocent and that he has “never given favors to specific companies.”

The lawmaker, a member of the House of Representatives, is the first sitting Japanese legislator to be indicted in more than a decade. He left the LDP party a few days before his arrest.

”Never considered it a bribe”

Mr. Akimoto was indicted for allegedly receiving JPY7.6 million in cash and other treatments from 500.com in 2017 and 2018. At the time, the lawmaker served as a senior vice minister in charge of drafting the policy for the introduction of casino-style gaming in Japan.

According to Tokyo prosecutors, Mr. Akimoto received JPY2 million on September 1, 2017. The legislator said Friday that the money was a fee he was paid for delivering a speech at a 500.com-sponsored event. He also told journalists that he never considered the amount a bribe.

He also denied receiving another JPY3 million in cash from 500.com later in September 2017.

Aside from these two alleged incidents of Mr. Akimoto taking bribes from the Chinese gambling firm, investigators also found that 500.com treated the lawmaker to two trips and covered the expenses for those.

In December 2017, Mr. Akimoto visited the sports lottery operator’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China. In February 2018, he and his family took a trip to Hokkaido, which according to Tokyo prosecutors 500.com paid the expenses for.

The lawmaker said Friday that he instructed his former secretary to take care of the expenses for the trips and that he did not recognize them as constituting special treatment.

Mr. Akimoto also told journalists that for the time being he would focus on the trial. The lawmaker pushed back calls by opposition party members to give sworn testimony on the bribery scandal at the Diet.

Source: Lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto claims innocence in casino bribery cases

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Bribed Japanese Lawmaker Released on Bail

The senior Japanese lawmaker who was indicted on bribery charges for taking money from a Chinese gambling firm looking to enter Japan’s casino market was released on bail this past Wednesday, Japanese news outlets report.

Tsukasa Akimoto, a former member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), was arrested on December 25 on suspicion of taking bribes from Chinese online sports lottery operator 500.com to spearhead the gambling company’s bid to win one of three casino licenses the Japanese government plans to award to interested operators.

Mr. Akimoto has been indicted for taking nearly JPY8 million in cash from 500.com between 2017 and 2018. He has denied all allegations leveled against him.

Until the fall of 2018, the lawmaker served as the senior vice minister in charge of overseeing the drafting of the Japanese government’s casino policy. The country legalized casino gambling in December 2016, but needs to complete a multi-step and multi-phase process before launching its first casinos.

According to the investigative team of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Mr. Akimoto was approached by 500.com in the summer of 2017 and took bribes to spearhead the company’s bid to win the right to build an integrated casino resort in Hokkaido alongside a local tourism agency.

500.com Treated the Lawmaker to Various Trips

Aside from cash, Tokyo prosecutors also found that Mr. Akimoto was treated to several trips by 500.com. In late 2017, the lawmaker visited the gambling firm’s corporate headquarters in Shenzhen, China. The expenses for that trip were covered by 500.com, according to records.

During the trip to China, Mr. Akimoto also visited a casino in Macau in a bid to gain knowledge of how the special administrative region’s gaming industry worked and use that knowledge in the crafting of his own country’s gaming policies.

In Macau, Mr. Akimoto allegedly asked the 500.com side to purchase some luxury items for him at a local shopping center. The embattled lawmaker admitted to accepting such items from his host, but told investigators that he “was going to buy the items, worth more than JPY100,000 in total, [himself], but the 500.com side paid for them” and that “this was within the scope of commonly accepted social norms.”

According to Tokyo prosecutors, 500.com also covered the expenses for a trip to Hokkaido Mr. Akimoto took with his family in February 2018.

The lawmaker’s defense team made a request that their client be released on bail on February 3. The Tokyo District Court granted him bail and then denied an appeal made by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office against the decision.

Mr. Akimoto paid JPY30 million (approx. $270,000) to be released. He is the first sitting Japanese legislator to be charged with a crime in more than a decade.

Source: Japanese lawmaker indicted for casino bribery released on bail

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