Japan's central bank sets up new team to research digital currencies

The Bank of Japan (BOJ), the country's central bank, has set up a new dedicated team to further study digital currencies.

Reuters reported the news on Sunday, saying that the team is part of the central bank's payment and settlement systems division. Members of the team are not yet known.

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The news comes just days after reports that said Japan's government is seriously considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by including the plan in its policy framework this year. The inclusion of such a plan in Japan's policy framework would make it an official government policy.

The BOJ has been formally researching CBDCs since January of this year when it 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. The formation of the new team suggests that the BOJ is determined toward CBDCs.

While the BOJ has previously said it has no immediate plans to issue digital yen, the recent reports indicate urgency, as China is moving closer to the launch of its own digital currency. A Japanese lawmaker once said Japan would need support from the U.S. to curb the potential influence of China's digital yuan.