(Kitco News) – Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced plans to further promote the use of the Metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) during a public policy speech delivered before Japan’s National Diet.
“We will also promote efforts to expand the use of Web 3.0 services that utilize Metaverse and NFT,” Kishida said during Monday’s speech dedicated to digital transformation and the advancement of digital technology.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the government’s investment in the ongoing digital transformation already includes the issuance of NFTs to local authorities using digital technology to solve jurisdictional disagreements.
Kashida was referring to the “Summer Digi Denkoshien 2022” ceremony held in September, where seven local mayors were awarded NFTs for their utilization of digital technology to solve local challenges.
Web3 development has been highlighted as a point of focus for Kashida, who made it one of his pillars of economic revitalization after coming into office in 2021.
In April, Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party published an “NFT White Paper” that detailed Japan’s Web3 plans, including policy recommendations for user protection and advancing a national strategy for the Web3 era.
In July, his administration joined forces with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) to launch a Web3 Policy Promotion Office to integrate Web3-related departments within the ministry. The office collects data from businesses across all sectors of society and incorporates relevant ministries and agencies to develop Web3-related projects.
This recent speech marks the latest advancement in the country’s focus on embracing a digital future by investing and promoting players in the Web3 space.
Increased demand for NFT trademarks
Despite the pullback in NFT prices in 2022 after a blowout year in 2021, interest in the burgeoning sector continues to increase as more people around the world are introduced to the technology.
According to figures compiled by trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis that were pulled from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data, the number of trademark applications relating to NFTs and other blockchain products that have been filed in 2022, as of the end of September, is 6,366.
For comparison, the total number of trademark registrations in 2021 was 2,142, meaning that 2022 has already seen nearly triple the number of registrations with three months still left in the year. The 2021 total was originally surpassed in March, the most active filing month of 2022, when a total of 1,080 registrations were submitted.
March of 2022 was the hottest month for NFT-related trademark filings, with 1,080 submitted. Every subsequent month in 2022 had lower filings, with a 15% decrease between August and September of this year.
2022 NFT trademark applications. Source: Michael Kondoudis.
The number of new monthly filings has been on the decline since March, which coincides with the dramatic downturn in the crypto market that was sparked by the implosion of Terra/Luna and its TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin.
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