Japan has become the latest country to join the sanctions against Russia insofar as cryptocurrencies are concerned.
On Monday the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) said it would freeze all assets that pertain to sanctioned individuals in Russia and Belarus, including cryptocurrencies, and impose fines on any collaborator party.
Echoing a statement by G7 nations on Friday, Japan said that it would seek to freeze and seize illicit assets regardless of the medium they were distributed through, including crypto.
Japan is joining the pursuit of money that oligarchs may be trying to hide from the sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
G7 nations have expressed a heightened concern that cryptocurrency may have been used by Russia already to skirt some of the sanctions against the country, even though some experts have weighed in to say that this was not a sustainable economic model. The US Department of Justice has also launched a special task force called KleptoCapture.
Japan has also urged cryptocurrency exchanges to step up their efforts and collaborate with them to uncover any laundering of sanctioned funds.
The government will further strengthen its measures against the transfer of crypto assets that could potentially lead to violation of sanctions.
However, the FSA’s fine for conducting such payments is set at 1m yen or $8,487.52 which may prove a poor deterrent when it comes to skirting sanctions. Japan presently has 31 crypto exchanges which have been put at high alert to avoid processing potentially illicit funds all the same.