The Japanese government approved amendments to existing financial regulations to prevent money laundering utilizing cryptocurrencies and increase penalties on those involved, according to local media reports.

See related article: North Korea’s Lazarus Group attacks Japanese crypto firms, police say

Fast facts

  • The Cabinet, Japan’s executive body, approved the revisions to laws associated with the country’s Foreign Exchange Act and the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.
  • The amendments mandate that crypto exchanges share user information such as names and addresses between platforms.
  • They also allow the country to freeze the assets of local entities or individuals designated by the United Nations for helping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • On Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Hirokazu Matsuno announced that the government has frozen properties belonging to five entities involved in the development of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles.
  • Last week, the country’s National Police Agency also announced that North Korea-backed hacker group Lazarus has been sending phishing emails to local crypto exchange employees laced with malware, where some companies have been hacked and had their cryptocurrencies stolen.
  • The six amendments will be submitted to the National Diet, the country’s legislature, according to local reports. 

See related article: Japan plans new crypto transfer rules to combat money laundering