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Facebook joins Keidanren, Japan's leading business lobby

Social media giant wants say in data and tax policies ahead of digital currency launch

Facebook intends to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra next year.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Facebook has joined Japan's most influential business lobby, the company said Monday, as the social media outlet faces mounting pressure in the country over data protection and taxation.

Facebook is the last of the four U.S. technology giants -- including Google, Amazon and Apple -- to become a member of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren.

"We want to deepen our cooperation with member companies and contribute to further growth in Japan's economy and society," the company said in a statement.

Japan's government plans to enact new rules covering information technology giants designed to ensure fair competition, protect personal information and tax digital services. Facebook stands to gain more insight into policy discussions and contribute its opinions through Keidanren.

Membership in the lobby also likely will help the social media platform coordinate with the Bank of Japan and financial authorities on the planned rollout of Facebook's Libra digital currency in 2020.

Keidanren, meanwhile, hopes that working with Facebook will give it greater influence on digital policy issues.

The federation previously accepted only companies with net assets of 1 billion yen ($9.26 million) or more. But Keidanren lowered the threshold in November for the first time in 12 years, looking to bring startups and tech companies into the fold.

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