Paris, 30 August 2021. Japan’s measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing are delivering results, but the country needs to prioritise efforts in certain areas to improve the effectiveness of the Japanese anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) framework.
Authorities in Japan have a good understanding of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks they face and have been at the forefront of AML/CFT measures in areas that present major risks for the country.
Japan is delivering good results in the collection and use of financial intelligence to investigate and prosecute money laundering and terrorist financing. It also demonstrated that it is providing constructive cooperation with counterparts in other countries.
While the terrorist financing risk in Japan is low, law enforcement needs to focus more on the laundering of proceeds in complex large-scale cases often involving fraud and drug-related crimes, including addressing the key risk areas, such as the risks associated with organised crime groups “the Boryokudan”. Authorities also need to increase efforts in the confiscation of criminal proceeds.
Authorities in Japan proactively conduct outreach to businesses about the risks of proliferation financing. However, the country needs to ensure the effective implementation of measures that prevent the unwitting facilitation of sanctions evasion.
Japan has taken robust action to address risks linked to virtual assets and their service providers and now needs to fully implement the measures to prevent their abuse.
Japanese authorities also need to prioritise efforts to improve the requirements for financial and non-financial institutions to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, including customer due diligence, and improve access to beneficial ownership information to prevent the misuse of legal persons and arrangements.
The FATF adopted this report at its June 2021 Plenary meeting.
The Financial Action Task Force and the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering assessed Japan’s AML/CFT system. The Mutual Evaluation Report of Japan is a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of Japan’s measures and their level of compliance with the FATF Recommendations. This includes an assessment of Japan’s actions to address the risks emanating from UN and domestically designated terrorists and terrorist organisations. The report does not address the justification that led to the domestic designation of an entity as a terrorist or terrorist group or organisation. .