- From June 1, Japan will enforce stricter anti-money laundering laws, specifically targeting crypto transactions.
- A key feature is the ‘travel rule,’ compelling financial institutions to share customer data during crypto asset transfers.
- Non-compliance with the new legal framework could result in criminal punishment.
In a determined effort to bring its legal framework up to par with global standards, Japan has decided to implement stringent anti-money laundering measures from the first day of June. This approach is specifically geared toward monitoring cryptocurrency transactions.
The government’s move comes in response to criticism from the Financial Action Task Force, a preeminent international financial watchdog. In December, Japan amended relevant legislation after its anti-money laundering methodologies were criticized for their inadequacy.
A particularly salient feature of the upgraded framework is the application of the ‘travel rule’, designed to maintain a meticulous account of illicit proceeds. This rule mandates financial institutions processing cryptocurrency transactions to convey client data to the subsequent institution, comprising information like the sender’s and recipient’s names and addresses.
Notably, the legal ambit of this new measure includes stablecoins or cryptocurrencies tethered to conventional currencies such as the U.S. dollar or a tangible commodity. This step is anticipated to provide a stronger shield against the nefarious activity of money laundering, where unlawfully gained money is manipulated to appear legal.
Authorities have issued a stern warning that noncompliance with remedial orders can attract punitive measures. This step underlines Japan’s commitment to eliminating potential misuse of crypto assets, and enforcing greater control and transparency in digital transactions.
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