Seven Japanese mayors were given awards for their stellar achievements since assuming office. The awards took the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and were issued primarily to government officials for their role in promoting the digital economies of their cities.
The NFTs were Ethereum-based Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) NFTs issued from Hazama base, a platform that has found prior usage amongst Japanese political parties, according to a Coinpost report. The NFTs cannot be resold on the secondary market, making them of a non-transferrable kind.
The Cabinet Secretariat issued the awards at the “Summer Digi Denkoshien 2022” event under the supervision of Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary. The event drew attendees from the highest echelons of the Japanese government, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in attendance.
The mayor of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, was awarded for his government’s role in proposing the use of electric cars for local deliveries, while the mayor of Maebashi of Gunma Prefecture received recognition for suggesting the use of cameras to monitor the changes in traffic conditions in urban areas.
The event drew support from technology companies in the country, like Tree Digital Studio, Tomonari Kogei, Bitflyer Holdings, and Indiesquare. The award ceremony marked the first time the country’s administrators will use distributed ledger technology to reward performing officials, with enthusiasts hoping the trend rolls over into 2023.
Japan’s positive stance on distributed ledger technology
Japan is one of the leading countries in Web 3.0 adoption. The acceptance of the technology has been backed by its prime minister, other top government figures, and a technology-savvy population.
Prime Minister Kishida disclosed that Web 3.0 projects would be integral in the country’s quest to improve its digital economy. He added that for the country’s ambitions to come through, an overhaul of the current tax regime and digital asset regulatory framework is required to position it to compete globally.
Kishida notes that his regime will “boldly review systems and regulations that do not match the progress of technology,” while a white paper from the Liberal Democratic Party hints that NFTs and the metaverse will be instrumental in the country’s drive.
Kishida’s statements suggest that his government is open to collaborating with the private sector, both locally and internationally.
Although NFT transaction volumes have waned in the last two quarters, the move by Japanese administrators to use them in an award ceremony illustrates utility beyond the commercial usage typically attached to collectibles.
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