The conduct of the initial coin offering (ICO) in Japan can be regulated by several existing laws. This is stated in the official statement of the Agency of Financial Services of Japan (FSA).
As the regulator explained, depending on its structure, ICOs may fall under the requirements of the law on payment services and the law on financial instruments and exchanges.
A certain token issued in an ICO falls under the virtual currency on the Payment Services Act, therefore the businesses which provide exchange services of virtual currencies on a regular basis must be registered with each Local Finance Bureau that is delegated authority to by the Prime Minister. If an ICO has the characteristics of an investment and the purchase of a token by a virtual currency is practically deemed equivalent of that by a legal tender, the ICO becomes subject to regulations under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.
Japanese Financial Services Agency statement
Such a position of Japan's financial regulator is in many ways similar to the position taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last summer.