The Mayor of one of Japan’s biggest cities has paid a visit to the San Francisco headquarters of Ripple – further strengthening the ties between Japan and the American crypto firm.
In a Twitter post last week, Emi Yoshikawa, the Ripple Vice President of Strategy and Operations posted a photo of herself with Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima and a member of the latter’s “team.”
Ripple has been fighting an epic legal battle with the financial regulator in its home country, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accusing senior Ripple executives of selling XRP tokens as “unregistered securities.”
But the American firm has a number of staunch allies in Japan – including the securities, crypto, and banking giant SBI and its CEO Yoshitaka Kitao. The latter is a Ripple board member, and SBI has previously given out XRP tokens as shareholder bonuses. The Japanese company’s gaming subsidiary even pays its pro gamers in XRP.
Kitao has previously gone to great pains to point out that Japanese regulators have ruled that XRP is not a security. He has also suggested that if Ripple were ever forced to relocate, the American firm could choose to move to Japan.
Takashima, meanwhile, is an outspoken advocate of Web3 – much like the current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The Japanese news outlet CoinPost quoted a Ripple spokesperson as stating that, during his visit to the company, Takashima was given an “introduction to Ripple.”
The parties also discussed “Web3-related initiatives in Fukuoka,” as well as “proposed regulatory reforms” and “exchanged Web3-related opinions,” the spokesperson added.
Takashima, who has served as Mayor of Fukuoka since 2010, has launched various digitization efforts in the city. He has also proposed conditionally deregulating crypto firms in a bid to spark growth in the sector and is in favor of adopting blockchain technology in public operations to boost transparency and bolster security.
In May this year, his office approached the Council on National Strategic Special Zones (NSSZs) with a crypto-related proposal. In Japan, NSSZs are deregulated spaces and free trade zones where clusters of same-industry companies are allowed to grow without excessive red tape-related restrictions. Takashima suggested that crypto firms operating in designated NSSZs should be granted new investment rights.
These would allow certified venture capitalists to invest in such companies through coin offerings.
The city has also funded blockchain technology-related projects and research in Fukuoka, and a school in Fukuoka has also begun offering children training in blockchain-related matters.