Japan wants G-7 to focus on digital currency as China takes fintech lead

Kyodo News

Posted at Feb 09 2021 06:52 PM

Japan wants G-7 to focus on digital currency as China takes fintech lead 1
Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Financial Minister Taro Aso. Issei Kato, Reuters file photo

TOKYO - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday he wants finance chiefs from the Group of Seven industrialized economies to have in-depth discussions over digital currency at an online meeting slated for Friday.

"I think it's important for us to thrash out (policy measures regarding) digital currency issued by central banks," Aso told a press conference ahead of talks by the G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors.

The G-7 nations have been cautious about China's lead in issuing a digital currency, as it could threaten the long-standing international position of their conventional currencies. China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, has been holding trials of its digital currency in specific areas since last year.

Friday's virtual meeting will be the first ministerial talks for the G-7 in 2021, the year Britain holds the group's presidency. It will also be the first G-7 gathering since US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took office after the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

The financial leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States plus the European Union are expected to discuss measures to address the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which have weighed heavily on the global economy.

Aso also referred to the debt relief program for developing nations mainly led by the Group of 20 major economies amid the coronavirus pandemic, and issues over new international taxation rules for globally operating technology firms, as themes Japan will focus on at the G-7 talks.

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