Japan has been urged to improve cooperation between its government agencies in order to tackle money laundering and the funding of terrorism.

In response to recommendations by the intergovernmental anti-money laundering organisation the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Japan's finance ministry has produced a three-year action plan. The plan includes closer supervision of financial institutions and an inter-agency task force to assess and manage the threat posed by money laundering.

The FATF produced a report following a 14-month review of Japan. The report said that there was generally good inter-agency cooperation between Tokyo's law enforcement bodies regarding money laundering. But it said that Japan would benefit from a joint-agency body that would have responsibility for "setting national anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policies and activities".

Following publication of the FATF report, Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso said combating money-laundering was "essential to our strategy to make Japan an international financial hub open to the world".

Japan has taken measures to try and combat financial crime in previous years. Yet despite this, the FATF has seen room for improvement and has highlighted where those improvements could be made.

Once the three-year plan is fully implemented, it may well address the outstanding issues that have been recognised by the FATF. It will need to ensure an increase in monitoring and risk assessment regarding Japan's financial institutions, as this is one area that has been identified as requiring further work.

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