Japan convening panel on digital yen as BOJ pilot scheme gets underway

Japan convening panel on digital yen as BOJ pilot scheme gets underway
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks in front of the headquarters of Bank of Japan in Tokyo, Japan, January 18, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Following the Bank of Japan’s launch this month of a pilot programme to test the use of a digital yen, the Ministry of Finance plans to convene a meeting of experts on April 21 to discuss the way forward.

The nine experts, who include academics, economists, a lawyer and a consumer group representative, will meet regularly, and compile a report by the end of this year.

Central banks around the world have scrambled to develop digital currencies to modernize financial systems and facilitate domestic and cross-border payments.

But Japan remains undecided on whether to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), and the BOJ has said the pilot programme may last for several years.

“We understand the BOJ’s study is making a steady headway,” a finance ministry official told reporters. “However, we have not at all decided on whether Japan will issue a CBDC.”

The BOJ and Financial Services Agency will attend the panel sessions as observers.

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