With the establishment of the “Japan Metaverse Economic Zone,” a group of well-known Japanese companies, including Mizuho, Mitsubishi, and Sumitomo Mitsui, have announced a new collaboration designed to help advance Japan’s metaverse plans.
According to the agreement signed on February 16 by ten participating corporations, they will collaborate to build Ryugukoku, an open metaverse infrastructure, using JP Games’ “Pegasus World Kit” (PWK) metaverse construction framework.
Ryugukoku will “enable interoperability and collaboration among Metaverse platforms, as well as serve as a new social infrastructure for enterprise DX [digital transformation] such as information dissemination, marketing, work style reform for domestic enterprises, marketing, as well as consumer DX and consumer EX (Experience Transformation),” according to the release.
Hajime Tabata, former Square Enix executive and JP Games CEO, will lead the collaboration to “update Japan through the power of games.” The project is described as a “industrial design initiative that employs gaming technology and was established as a result of each company’s endorsement of the concept.”
The companies involved have agreed to integrate their technologies and services, such as gamification and fintech, to help build Japan’s technical infrastructure.
Ryugukoku is expected to build a safe and secure metaverse infrastructure for identity authentication, insurance, payments, and data infrastructure. The new social platform will also be used for domestic enterprise marketing, information dissemination, and workstyle reform.
The protocol will provide users with an RPG-like experience in which each metaverse service and all content presented “takes the form of a moving ‘city,’ ‘castle,’ or’vehicle’ that roams around that virtual world,” according to the release. “As they travel through different realms and encounter a variety of contents and services, users will be able to engage in an RPG-like experience.”
Mizuho, a Japanese bank, has agreed to provide infrastructure for “metaverse coins,” while Mitsubishi will assist in the creation of the “multi-magic passport” (MMP), which is a “authentication certificate with a payment function that allows users to freely travel to and from metaverse services within Ryugukoku.”
Mitsubishi is also the global partner responsible for “expanding the overseas and economic sphere” of the new metaverse platform. Sompo Japan Insurance will work on developing insurance and risk policies for the Web3 era.
The service is likely to be expanded beyond Japan to other jurisdictions and governments in the future. The companies involved hope to one day provide infrastructure to companies and government agencies outside of Japan, assisting in the “global expansion of the Japan Metaverse Economic Zone.”
In recent years, Japan has been one of the most active and open jurisdictions for cryptocurrencies. Last year, Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, announced plans to invest in expanding the country’s non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse industries, and the Japan Credit Bureau launched the “JCBDC” project, which aims to develop and test settlement solutions for central bank digital currencies.
In February, Bank of Japan (BoJ) executive director Shinichi Uchida announced that, once the proof-of-concept (PoC) testing that began in 2021 is completed, the central bank will launch the next phase of its pilot program for the digital yen in April. The next phase will primarily focus on connecting the various systems involved with the digital yen, such as the BoJ, intermediary network systems, other stakeholders, and users via intermediaries.