News Tech: The relationship between Japan and the American cryptocurrency company Ripple has been further cemented by the mayor of one of the largest cities in Japan visiting the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the financial watchdog in Ripple’s jurisdiction, has accused senior Ripple officials of selling XRP coins as “unregistered securities,” and the two parties have been engaged in a protracted legal dispute.
Last week, Ripple Vice President of Strategy and Operations Emi Yoshikawa shared a picture of herself with Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima and a member of his “team” on Twitter.
However, the American company has a lot of steadfast allies in Japan, including as the banking, securities, and cryptocurrency juggernaut SBI and its CEO Yoshitaka Kitao. The latter serves on the Ripple board, while SBI has previously awarded XRP coins to shareholders as shareholder incentives. Even professional players are paid in XRP by the Japanese company’s gaming division.
The parties also “exchanged Web3-related thoughts” and talked about “Web3-related projects in Fukuoka,” as well as “suggested regulatory adjustments.”
Since taking office as mayor of Fukuoka in 2010, Takashima has spearheaded several initiatives to digitise the city. He has also advocated implementing blockchain technology in public operations to increase transparency and strengthen security, as well as conditionally deregulating cryptocurrency businesses in an effort to spur the sector’s growth. His agency submitted a crypto-related proposal to the Council on National Strategic Special Zones (NSSZs) in May of this year. NSSZs are deregulated areas and free trade zones in Japan where groups of businesses in the same industry are free to expand without being constrained by a lot of red tape. Takashima proposed granting additional investment rights to cryptocurrency companies operating in selected NSSZs.
These would make it possible for accredited venture capitalists to make coin offers investments in such businesses. Additionally, the city of Fukuoka has provided funding for initiatives and research into blockchain technology, and a school there has started teaching students about blockchain-related topics.