Policy Proposals  Industrial Technology   Summary of 4th Japan-EU ICT Strategies Workshop

December 13, 2016

1. Overview

Ahead of the official 22nd Japan-EU ICT Dialogue (bilateral talks held in Brussels on December 1), requests were made to both governments and relationships strengthened through public-private discussions on key issues in the area of ICT strategies.

Date and time: November 30 (Wed.), 9:00--14:35
Location: Rue van Maerlant, 18 - 1040 Brussels, Belgium

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) (Mr. Shigeki Suzuki, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs)); Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC); The Mission of Japan to the European Union; Keidanren (Mr. Yoshio Takeyama, Chairman, Sub-Committee on Information and Telecommunication Policy), etc.
The European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT) (Mr. Gerard De Graaf, Director of Directorate F), Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST), BUSINESSEUROPE, DIGITALEUROPE, etc.

Reference 1: Past Workshops

  • 1st: March 24--25, 2015 (Tokyo)
  • 2nd: June 5, 2015 (via Tokyo- Brussels video conferencing)
  • 3rd: December 15, 2015 (via Tokyo- Brussels video conferencing)

Reference 2: Program

  • Opening address
  • Discussions on Themes 1 and 2 (presentations by both governments and industries; discussion and dialogue between public and private sectors)
  • Luncheon
  • Discussions on Theme 3 (presentations by both governments and industries; discussion and dialogue between public and private sectors)
  • Closing (Toward fifth workshop); end

2. Three pillars of theme discussions

Theme 1: Recent policy and strategy development in digital economy

Theme 2: Recent trends of ICT standardization, including IoT/5G

Theme 3: Privacy and data flows

In light of the fact that personal information protection law is currently continuing to be developed in Japan and the EU, active discussions were held on Theme 3 in particular from the perspectives of both data utilization and data protection.

Reference 3: Trends related to EU privacy law

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new set of rules adopted in April 2016 and replacing the Data Protection Directive, is scheduled to put into effect on May 25, 2018.
  • Detailed rules are yet to be determined as of the present, but if the protection rules are excessively strict compared to Japan's amended Act on the Protection of Personal Information (The amended Act fully put into effect on May 30, 2017), there is concern that the free, cross-border data flows from inside the EU to outside (Japan, etc.) will be hindered.

3. Keidanren's proposal

Representing Japanese industry, Keidanren's proposals were primarily related to the following items. In particular, we strongly asserted that ensuring the free, cross-border data flows is indispensable to all companies engaged in international business.

  • Society 5.0 and digital economy
  • Introduction of examples of data utilization
  • Toward ICT standardization
  • Toward ensuring free, cross-border data flows; etc.

Under the EU's GDPR and Japan's amended Act, effort should be made to reach agreement on mutually ensuring free, cross-border data transfers between Japan and the EU while protecting personal information.