Japan Asks Crypto Exchanges to Comply With Sanctions Restrictions — Penalty Includes 3 Years in Prison

Japan’s top financial regulator has asked cryptocurrency exchanges in the country not to process transactions subject to asset-freeze sanctions. The penalty for unauthorized payments to sanctioned persons includes three years in prison.

Japan’s Financial Regulator and Ministry of Finance Ask Crypto Exchanges to Comply With Sanctions Restrictions

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), announced Monday that the country will contribute to international sanctions efforts surrounding Ukraine following its attack by Russia.

The FSA added that it has received approval by the Cabinet to implement “various measures including payment restrictions under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act.”

The financial regulator detailed that it and the Ministry of Finance have made a request to crypto exchanges in the country not to process transactions subject to asset-freeze sanctions against Russia and Belarus. The FSA detailed:

All payments, including payments by crypto assets, cannot be made to sanctioned persons without prior permission.

The penalty for unauthorized payments to sanctioned persons includes three years imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than 1 million yen ($8,481), the regulator noted.

The announcement followed a statement made by the Group of Seven (G7) countries Friday regarding sanctions on Russia. A senior FSA official was quoted by Reuters as saying:

We decided to make an announcement to keep the G7 momentum alive … The sooner the better.

The FSA and the Japanese Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement that the government will work as one to strengthen measures against the transfer of funds using crypto assets that would be in violation of the sanctions, the news outlet conveyed.

Currently, there are 30 registered crypto exchanges in Japan according to the list of approved crypto exchanges on the FSA website.

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