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Policy Proposals  Industrial Technology U.S.- Japan Business Dialogue on the Internet Economy Joint Statement


March 21, 2012
The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

On March 21, 2012, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) hosted an industry forum on policy cooperation between the United States and Japan with regard to the regulation of the Internet Economy. The meeting was held at the Keidanren Kaikan in Tokyo. Agreeing on the important role played by the Internet in internal and external economic activities, and, with a view to its future development, representatives of U.S. and Japanese industry have agreed to the following joint Statement.

1. The Need to Harmonize Internet Policies

The free flow of information around the world over the Internet is essential to the development of the world economy and to improving the quality of people's lives. Global policies must be harmonized to promote these objectives.

The "Japan-United States Trade Principles for Information and Communication Technology Services" agreed to in January 2012 by the U.S. and Japanese governments and the "Proposals regarding Rules Pertaining to the Determination of Internet Policy" released by the OECD in December 2011 are appropriate steps in this direction. We support such efforts at policy coordination by governments. In addition, we urge the U.S. and Japanese governments to join positively in the TPP negotiations, working together to achieve further trade liberalization and new rules for the services area, with special attention to the Internet.

The interoperable and free flow of information across the Internet must be secured for all countries, including China and India.

New EU rules for the protection of personal information are currently under discussion. Care should be taken that these new guidelines do not become an obstacle to the provision of Internet services across borders and that they are harmonized with the policies of other nations. We urge the Governments of Japan and the United States to cooperate closely in the creation of rules that are internationally consistent and enforceable globally.

2. Promotion of Cloud Computing Services

The superior convenience, cost, and disaster resistance of cloud computing services are making a significant contribution to social development. We pledge to strengthened cooperation between the two business communities in the utilization and dissemination of cloud computing services in a broad array of fields including government, medicine, education, transportation, energy, finance, and disaster prevention. We commit to promoting increased levels of information sharing and cloud services provision between the two countries. We urge the Governments of Japan and the United States to increase utilization of cloud computing services.

In step with mutual efforts to promote the international standardization of domestic interfaces and interconnection protocols for cloud computing services, we encourage the two Governments to cooperate in the creation of new rules for the Internet based on an international consensus and that can be utilized by American and Japanese industry. The goal is to assure that the advantages of borderless cloud services, including the capacity to handle large volumes of data, the better protection of intellectual property, strengthened information security, lower power consumption, multiple and redundant server locations and improved network quality, privacy and protection of consumer interests are not compromised.

3. Greater Levels of Cyber Security

Organized cyber crime uses the Internet to operate across national borders and has become an increasing threat to business activities. The scale of the damage from cyber crime is growing and it is difficult to deal with this threat by relying solely on the legal systems of individual countries. The guarding of Internet safety underpins the foundations of our increasingly global 21st-century network society. It is imperative that an international framework be developed that can effectively deter cyber attacks which threaten this framework.

In parallel with increased coordination between the Governments of the United States and Japan against various threats including targeted cyber attacks, we need more cooperation between the public and private sectors in developing effective countermeasures. These include improved network security and new initiatives, such as creating databases tracking cyber crime organization activities and methods.

4. Promotion of ICT in the Public Sector

The greater use of information and communications technology in the public sector, including for e-government, health care, education, transportation, energy, and other areas is linked to improvements in the convenience and efficiency of government services as well as to economic development. U.S. and Japanese efforts to promote greater utilization of ICT in the public sector should be closely coordinated with private industry and linked to initiatives for deploying this technology in third countries. The more effective utilization of ICT in the public sector should leverage recent advances in business process re-engineering (BPR), business process outsourcing (BPO), mining of large volumes of data, and a commitment to open government to the benefit of the greater public good.

The role played by government chief information officers (CIOs) in these efforts is vital. The functions of government CIO's should be strengthened and best practices shared between the United States and Japan.

We welcome the introduction of a national ID system in Japan and support U.S.-Japan cooperation in developing a corporate identification system that can serve as framework for economic transactions internationally.

5. Disaster response

Japanese industry is grateful for the prompt and overwhelming support provided by the United States Government and by American business in response to the Tohoku Earthquake. Japan should utilize to the greatest extent possible ICT in the rehabilitation of the disaster areas and their communities. It is important that interministerial rivalries, national and local difference and gaps in perception between the government and citizens be set aside in an all-Japan effort. To respond to disasters of this magnitude in the future, the United States and Japan also need to work with other nations to build a robust information and communications network and a framework to confirm the welfare and whereabouts of disaster victims.

6. Promotion of IPv6

As available IPv4 addresses limited and uneven around the world, the smooth deployment of IPv6 becomes essential for continued innovation and growth of the Internet Economy. 2012 is a key year for IPv6 deployment around the world. Major Internet service and access providers will permanently enable IPv6 around the world on June 6th for World IPv6 Launch and the U.S. federal government has mandated all federal agencies to use native IPv6 for external services by the end of September.

The United States and Japan need to coordinate on IPv6 deployment harmonizing existing IPv6 deployments so that both countries can move towards IPv6 in step with the rest of the world.

7. Cooperation on R&D, Human Resources Development, and the Advance of Digital Literacy

Greater reliance on ICT and the Internet is the path to dealing effectively with issues such as aging populations and scarce energy resources. The Governments of Japan and the United States should give priority to research and international harmonization in such areas as intelligent transportation systems (ITS), cloud services, and smart grids.

Building a healthy and safe Internet society requires the nurturing of skilled human resources. Government leadership and cooperation in the education field is needed to develop the human resources required to make full use of information and communications technology.

Attention should also be paid to building U.S.-Japan cooperation in the development of filtering and other technologies, consistent with preserving the openness of the Internet. We support educational efforts to ensure that young people can use the Internet wisely and safely through improved digital literacy and the provision of appropriate parental controls.

The U.S. and Japan industry look forward to strengthened ties between the two countries through cooperation on these issues. We encourage the two Governments to discuss specific actions that they will take to realize the goals of this Statement.

Industrial Technology