Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, visiting the UK two months ago, stressed the importance of a unified international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So much so that he stated how important it is to show Russia the consequences of an attack on its neighbour, not least in order to discourage China from attacking the Taiwan Strait, an area considered crucial for international stability.

The US and its allies are trying to intensify their efforts to isolate the Kremlin from the global economy.

For this reason, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has ordered all exchanges under its jurisdiction to sever any remaining ties with Russia. 31 FSA-licensed exchanges currently operate in Russia.

In March, the FSA moved to monitor the movement of assets belonging to any sanctioned entity under new rules that include digital assets in Japan’s ‘Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act’. The law now authorises the Japanese government to monitor the flow of funds in and out of Japan for sanctions violations.

Washington is increasing pressure on Japan to target licensed cryptocurrency firms operating in Russia, but also to prevent cheap electricity and cool temperatures from making Irkutsk, Siberia, an attractive place for miners.
The Irkutsk region is full of hydroelectric dams built during the Soviet era, under Stalin’s rule.

The plants were originally used to power uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons, but are now attractive because they seek to profit from the $0.0012 per kiloWatt-hour residential tariff.

The reminder from the Americans is intended to target those exchanges or miners who have set up shell companies in other countries to maintain relations with the Russians.

The digital sector, too, is therefore no stranger to the common strategy of making Putin & Co. increasingly inoffensive.