Japan's government is said to be seriously considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Japan's largest financial newspaper Nikkei reported the news on Tuesday, saying that the government will include the CBDC plan in its policy framework this year. The inclusion of such a plan in Japan's policy framework would make it official government policy, per the report.
Japan is looking to explore the possibility of issuing CBDC in coordination with other countries, such as the U.S. and European nations, per the report.
The news comes just a week after the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the country's central bank, officially said it would experiment with a CBDC to check its feasibility from a technical perspective.
Japan has been known to research CBDCs for a while. In January, the BOJ partnered with five other major central banks — the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden), and the Swiss National Bank — to explore digital currencies.
While the BOJ has previously said it has no immediate plans to issue digital yen, the recent reports suggest urgency as China's digital currency is "almost ready." A Japanese lawmaker once said Japan would need support from the U.S. to curb the potential influence of China's digital yuan.