Japan is the only one among seven major industrialized nations to tax bitcoin. There is an increasing number of critics within the country arguing that the consumption tax hurts Japan’s competitiveness, writes Toshihisa Kinouchi of Nikkei.
While Japan currently ponders deeming bitcoin and virtual currencies as currencies similar to conventional fiat currencies, there is another debate surrounding bitcoin that is being talked among regulators and politicians.
Tsukasa Akimoto, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party — the ruling party in the country — put forth a question toward Finance Minister Taro Aso, asking: “Can’t you consider not imposing consumption tax on bitcoins in line with the international trend?”
Defending Japan’s bitcoin taxation, Aso responded by stating “Japan is not alone [in taxing bitcoins]”. Aso pointed to countries including Australia who tax virtual currencies like Bitcoin. The discussion occurred during a lower house budget committee meeting on February 5.
However, there is a growing voice of disapproval toward the practice of taxing the cryptocurrency and other virtual currencies.