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Japan Finance, Tech Firms Collaborate on "Metaverse Economic Zone"

This infrastructure will "enable interoperability between different Metaverse platforms, as well as collaboration among Metaverse platforms, and will serve as a new social infrastructure for enterprise digital transformation.

Photo by Koukichi Takahashi / Unsplash

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A host of Japanese conglomerates and technology firms will work together to create a "metaverse economic zone" – an ecosystem formed by the interoperability between different metaverse services and platforms that utilize an open metaverse infrastructure, according to an announcement on Monday.

Companies participating in this initiative include JCB, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui, Mitsubishi UFJ, Resona, Sompo Japan Insurance, Toppan, Fujitsu, and TBT Lab, which said the move comes "in response to the rapidly growing demand for DX [digital transformation] utilizing the virtual domain among enterprises and government agencies."

The companies signed a basic agreement for the building of an Open Metaverse Infrastructure, currently called "Ryogukoku," which incorporates elements of an online alternate-world role-playing game, using a metaverse construction framework developed by JP Games, a TBT Lab group company.

This infrastructure will "enable interoperability between different Metaverse platforms, as well as collaboration among Metaverse platforms, and will serve as a new social infrastructure for enterprise DX such as information dissemination, marketing, work style reform for domestic enterprises, marketing, as well as consumer DX and consumer EX (Experience Transformation)," the announcement said.

Users will be able to engage in an RPG-like experience as they travel through different realms and encounter a variety of contents and services, and the platform will enable financial institutions to collaborate on identity authentication, various payments, data infrastructure, insurance and more.

There are also plans to expand this infrastructure to companies and government agencies outside of Japan.

Japan's Web3 Focus

In October 2022, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a speech delivered before Japan’s National Diet that the country would be promoting a slew of Web3 services as part of its broader efforts to ramp up investments in digital transformation.

He also stressed that the cabinet would “promote efforts to expand the use of Web 3.0 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.”

Since Kishida’s appointment in October last year, Japan has been trying to drive web3 adoption. The country recently established a Web3 policy office under the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI).

Related: Japan Doubles Down on Web3 Investments


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