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Policy Proposals  Industrial Technology U.S.- Japan Cloud Computing Working Group Report

Executive Summary

[ Index ]
October 18, 2012

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) agreed in a joint statement released in March 2012 to establish a "Cloud Computing Industry Forum" that would prepare a report on issues related to the development and utilization of cloud services for presentation to the U.S. and Japanese governments.

The report is organized around three major themes: 1) U.S.-Japan cooperation in establishing an international framework for cloud computing; 2) joint efforts to promote cloud computing in developing countries with the goal of overcoming the "digital divide;" and 3) important policy issues and challenges in promoting the greater adoption and use of cloud computing services.

With regard to establishing an "international framework" for cloud computing, we emphasize the need to build an internationally harmonized system and to promote an approach to Internet governance that maintains the openness and transparency of the Internet centered on a multi-stakeholder process.

Our support for advancing the use of cloud services in the developing world and in contributing to a reduction of the "digital divide" envisions a commitment by the United States and Japan to share "best practices" in delivering and utilizing cloud services in the developing world, with the goal of assisting these countries in dealing with social problems and strengthening U.S. and Japanese cooperation in this important area.

Among the important policy issues and challenges in the cloud computing areas requiring cooperation among the governments and private sectors, we list six concerns: privacy, information security, the promotion of digital content, steps to secure interoperability and changes to domestic practices to take into account the new requirements of cloud computing.

Addressing these topics demands close cooperation between government and industry. From that perspective, U.S. and Japanese industry recommend in this joint statement five areas for government action, directed to more fully realizing the potential of cloud computing in the two countries and globally.

U.S. - Japan Recommendations

1. Preserving an Open and Transparent Internet

There are currently discussions ongoing in international forums regarding the future of the Internet. The private sectors and governments of the United States and Japan should use every opportunity to participate fully in these discussions to ensure the continuance of an open and transparent Internet.

2. Internationally Harmonized Cross-Border Data Transfer Rules

A. Government and industry in the United States and Japan should follow carefully the ongoing efforts within the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to develop cross-border transactions and within the European Union (EU) with regard to new privacy regulations. While respecting the overall direction of EU policy on strengthening privacy, we urge that EU reforms be harmonized internationally.

B. For users to deploy cloud services with confidence there is a need to clarify the application of existing laws to the cloud computing environment.

3. Cooperation between the U.S. and Japanese CIOs

We urge the U.S. and Japanese chief information officers (CIOs) in their planning and implementation of IT policy to stay in close contact with industry through periodic meetings and other channels.

4. Realizing a Secure Internet Environment

The U.S. and Japanese governments together with the private sectors should create a forum, which will meet regularly to discuss newly emerging and future threats and can make it possible to take quick and effective action against these threats.

5. Promoting a Global Cloud Business

For newly industrializing countries to fully utilize the cloud, they need to comprehensively pursue infrastructure deployment, administrative reforms and the development of human resources. The U.S. and Japanese governments need to assist these countries and especially their public institutions to carry out this role.

Industrial Technology