PM Says Web3 Is an Opportunity for Japanese ‘Economic Growth’

Source: AdobeStock / tawatchai1990

The Japanese Prime Minister has spoken to the nation’s parliament about Web3, claiming that it will spark economic growth – a further indication that pro-business legal reform could be on the cards in the nation.

The Japanese media outlet CoinPost reported that the PM, Fumio Kishida, made his announcement before the House of Representatives (the lower house)’s Budget Committee yesterday, where he said:

“The dawn of the Web3 era may lead economic growth [for Japan].”

The PM faced a question from the MP Masanobu Ogura of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party at the hearing, following Kishida’s remarks on “blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse” made on a recent trip to the UK.

Kishida, who was in the UK earlier this month, spoke to potential investors about new “institutional reforms” that would “create an environment” that “facilitates” the creation of new services. These services, he said, include Web 3-related infrastructure.

In answer to Ogura’s request for further clarification on the matter, Kishida explained:

“We are confident that incorporating new digital services such as the metaverse and NFTs will lead to economic growth for Japan. As we enter the Web3 era, I feel strongly that we must resolutely promote this environment from a political standpoint.”

The PM further added that he would aim to foster new startups in the space, and pledged “support” for tech firms aiming to woo overseas capital – vowing to make the Japanese Web3 space “attractive as an investment destination.”

To do this, Kishida indicated, the government could launch startup accelerators, aid with attracting foreign venture capital – and even possible public capital backing.

Forces both within the ruling party and outside it have joined calls for the government to back up its claims on this front with positive action – including a reform of tax laws that currently see crypto-related earnings classified as miscellaneous income on tax declarations. Critics have urged the government to switch to a system whereby earnings are instead subject to capital gains tax levies – and taxed at a flat rate.