April 26, 2021, Tokyo, Japan - This picture shows the headquarters builsing of Bank of Japan (BOJ) in Tokyo as BOJ started a two-day policy meeting amid outbreak of the new coronavirus on Monday, April 26, 2021. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefecture entered a new state of emergency for COVID-19 on April 25 through May 11. (Photo by Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO) No Use China. No Use Taiwan. No Use Korea. No Use Japan.

Bank of Japan CEO Shinichi Uchida announced Friday morning that he intends to launch a beta version to test using his version of the CBDC, better known as the digital yen, in April.

In remarks during the 5th meeting of the Bank of Japan’s Liaison and Coordination Committee, which was convened to discuss the latest developments on the Japanese yen, Uchida said the country’s central bank plans to develop a system for testing the digital yen before adopting the final issuance.

The director added that the aim of the pilot program is to test the technical feasibility of issuing the digital yen, as well as to benefit from the skills and vision of companies in the digital currency market regarding aspects of technology and operation, with the aim of designing a successful ecosystem, in the event that the digital yen is officially adopted.

However, the bank clarified that the digital yen beta is not expected to see any actual financial transactions between retailers and consumers at present, adding that it will hold a central bank digital currency forum, and invite relevant retail payments or technology companies to participate.

This step comes after more than two years of the Bank of Japan’s experiments on the digital yen, although the digital yuan in China continues to maintain the lead in the digital currency race of central banks in the world, which has been joined by more than 105 countries so far.

The Bank of Japan’s announcement of issuing the digital yen coincided with its readiness to transfer the position of the bank’s governor to Kazuo Ueda after the retirement of the current governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, next April as well.