In a speech before Japan’s National Parliament, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said the government will be making efforts to promote Web3 services, including those dealing with NFTs and the Metaverse. The prime minister also hinted at digitizing national ID cards. Under its current leadership, Japan isn’t just following a trend, but incorporating NFTs and the Metaverse in a larger policy of wider economic reform.
Japan’s Digital Transformation
Japan is quickly turning into a hotbed for digital innovation with an increasing focus on blockchain technology and its applications. This focus was evident in July this year when the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) formed a “Web 3.0 Policy Promotion Office” to refine the system examining the business environment for blockchain-based firms.
One of the main focuses of this office is to promote the use of NFTs. We know that the potential for NFTs goes beyond art and profile pictures. They have the capacity to fundamentally change the way we interact online and conduct business. To this end, Japan has already started to experiment with NFTs. Just recently the Japanese government awarded NFTs to seven mayors for their achievements in using digital technology to solve problems.
Even Japan Post is getting involved and testing the waters having recently released a new digital stamp collection featuring NFTs. The stamps come in packs of three with 100 packs in total. With such a limitedf quantity and huge demand, the stamps sold out almost immediately.
The stamp resale prices are significantly higher, but not exorbitant. For instance, only 100 animal series packs were produced, with five stamps in each pack, so each stamp is worth $4. However, in the secondary market, the asking price for each stamp is up to $82! Why didn’t my go-to NFT influencer drop this alpha!?
What’s Next for Japan?
Japan’s strategy for embracing Web3 technologies is likely to evolve as time progresses. In particular, the government may focus on increasing the use of NFTs for a variety of applications. This could involve working with businesses and other organizations to promote the use of NFTs for tracking assets, registering property deeds, and other administrative purposes. Additionally, the government may look to further develop its own blockchain infrastructure to support the growth of the Web3 industry in Japan.
We probably don’t have to guess how the government in Japan will look to implement NFTs and other Web3 services going forward. Back in April, the Liberal Democratic Party published an “NFT White Paper ” that detailed Japan’s Web3 plans, including policy recommendations for user protection and advancing a national strategy for the Web3 era.
Notably, Japan’s efforts don’t only consider how to integrate NFTs and the Metaverse into their infrastructure; they’re also considering how to foster an environment that will allow these systems to flourish. This includes researching tax reform that would help drive growth in the blockchain industry as well as establishing a system that would allow for the training and development of blockchain engineers within the country. Only time will tell how NFTs and the Metaverse will be utilized, but Japan seems to be putting a high degree of focus and research into these efforts.
Whatever the case, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Japan’s digital transformation and how NFTs and the Metaverse will play a role on the road ahead…