Japan’s cabinet secretariat presents NFT as supplementary prize in tech competition

Japan’s cabinet secretariat has awarded an NFT as a supplementary prize to seven municipalities that have won in a competition for using digital technology to promote local revitalization. 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida presented the mayors of the seven municipalities with awards during a ceremony on September 2. They also received an NFT, the first ever NFT created by the Cabinet Secretariat, as a supplementary prize. 

The competition “Summer Digi Den Koshien” was organized by the Cabinet Secretariat to recognize outstanding ideas and use of digital technology. It was part of efforts to raise public interest in Kishida’s initiative on promoting digital technology at local community levels.

One of the winning municipalities, Sakata City in Yamagata Prefecture, proposed using small electric vehicles to deliver goods ordered via smartphones. Maebashi City was highly commended for developing a system that uses a smartphone camera to detect road conditions and provide voice guidance for visually imparied people. 

The NFT prize and trophies were produced jointly by bitFlyer Holdings, a company in crypto asset trading; IndieSquare, which provides Web 3.0 solutions and has been selected for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s NFT project; and TREE Digital Studio, a content production company; and Tomonari Kogei. 

Yuta Hoshino, representative director of IndieSquare, said: “There are various technical and legal challenges in the NFT field, but we hope that this will be an opportunity to further promote the use of NFT and blockchain in Japan.” 

Tetsuro Tomonari, representative director of Tomonari Kogei, said: “To a township factory like us, blockchain seems something remote. But I believe that blockchain technology will become more accessible from the perspective of traceability in the future”.