The Japanese Ministry of Justice is reportedly considering revising the law on forfeiture of assets related to organized crime to include a provision that cryptocurrencies can be confiscated in such cases.

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If reports are confirmed, a potential revision of the Organized Crime and Proceeds of Crime Control Act (1999) would allow law enforcement and courts to take control of crypto assets used in criminal activities such as money laundering. .

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According to reports from local media such as the Yomiuri Shimbun on June 4, the DOJ will first need to negotiate with the Legislative Council on this matter before moving on. At the same time, important details will need to be clarified, such as how officers can obtain the criminal’s private keys.

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Negotiations with the Legislative Council may continue forthcoming as soon as next month according to Jiji Press.

Since the specific law regarding the confiscation of organized crime funds/assets does not explicitly set out any procedure in relation to illegally acquired cryptocurrencies, there is a concern that criminals may continue their illegal behavior with their unseized digital assets.

In its current form, the law only specifies that the assets that can be confiscated are physical property, monetary claims, and movable assets such as machines, vehicles, tools, and supplies, with cryptocurrencies not falling under any of these categories.

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Once the finer details are in place, the amendment to the law must be approved by the cabinet and then signed into law by parliament, and may not meet with much resistance, given the nature of such a proposal.

The report comes just days after Japan’s parliament passed a law to ban the issuance of stablecoins by non-banks in a bid to reduce systemic risks and provide stronger consumer protection.

According to the bill, only licensed banks, registered money transfer agents and local trust companies can develop and issue stablecoins.