Jul 1, 2022

Japanese crypto exchanges will be obliged to support sanctions against Russia

The Japanese government has demanded that local cryptocurrency exchange companies suspend transactions with counterparties from Russia, against whom the authorities have imposed restrictions due to the situation around Ukraine.

The Japanese government has demanded from localcryptocurrency exchange companies do not process transactions with digital assets that are subject to sanctions against Russia and Belarus, Reuters writes, citing officials. The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the country's Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement that the government will step up measures to curb the transfer of funds using cryptocurrencies in violation of sanctions.

Violators face penalties of up to three years in prison or a fine of 1 million yen, the FSA said. As of March 4, there were 31 crypto exchanges operating in the country.

The announcement by the Japanese authorities came afterhow last Friday the G7 countries expressed concern about the possible use of cryptocurrencies by Russian companies to circumvent sanctions.

At the same time, the head of the Federal BureauInvestigations (FBI) of the United States, Christopher Ray, said that the ability of Russians to circumvent sanctions with the help of cryptocurrencies is greatly overestimated. The US and its partners have the experience, strategies and tools to counter such efforts, Ray said.

Western countries have tightened anti-Russian sanctionsafter Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special operation on the territory of Ukraine. Various restrictions on Russians have been introduced by some cryptocurrency exchanges and services. US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that US authorities, together with allies in Europe, are exploring options to limit Russia's access to cryptocurrency.