Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Japan’s Declaration on Actions against the Outflow of Trade Secret was Compiled–To stop the outflow of trade secret such as technical information by uniting the efforts of the public and private sectors–

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been aiming to create a society that has absolutely zero tolerance regarding the outflow of trade secret such as important technologies and confidential information of Japanese companies to other domestic and overseas entities. To achieve this goal, on January 28, 2015, METI held the Public-Private Strategic Council for Countermeasures against the Outflow of Trade Secret, with representatives of the public and private sectors attending, and compiled a declaration of Japan’s actions concerning future efforts preventing such outflows.

1. Background

Recently, many incidents have been reported concerning the outflow of important technologies and confidential information of Japanese companies to other domestic and overseas entities. Moreover, the current situation surrounding this issue in the U.S. and other advanced countries has brought about the expectation that Japan’s situation caused by such outflow will become more serious. To address this issue, it is necessary for Japan to make the public and private sectors collaborate and exchange information about strengthening measures for protection of trade secrets, such as technical and other confidential information, and increase awareness on the issue.

To achieve the goal, on January 28, 2015, METI held a meeting of the council, with representatives of the public and private sectors attending, and compiled a declaration of Japan’s actions in which future public-private efforts are described, aiming to create a society that has zero tolerance regarding the misappropriation of trade secrets.

2. Outline of the declaration

Action 1: Protecting trade secret such as technical information

  • The industrial world should act against unauthorized attempts to steal technical information and also encourage companies to take company-wide measures against such attempts under the leadership of management.
  • The Government should formulate a manual for protecting trade secrets, establish a framework of consultation for companies, and promote information sharing on the methods of attacks.

Action 2:Decisive action against information leaks

  • Japanese companies should promptly take emergency measures in response to damage caused by an information leak and show a strict attitude toward such leaks, not hesitating to ask for civil and criminal proceedings.
  • The government should focus on the improvement of institutional deterrence over information leaks and also continue developing and strengthening the service to advise companies and the ability to investigate such leaks.

Action 3: Addressing sophisticated methods of attacks through ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors

  • The government and industrial world should continuously advance public-private collaborative efforts for protecting trade secrets, enhance the information sharing on the latest methods of attacks, and promote the enhancement of countermeasures against them.
  • They are to unite their efforts to advance initiatives toward the creation of a society that absolutely disallowing the misappropriation of trade secrets, a society throughout which public awareness of protecting trade secrets is maintained.

3. Future schedule

METI will hold a few working-level meetings in one year to exchange information on specific practices and efforts with related organizations and other entities attending.

References

Release date

January 28, 2015

Divisions in charge

Intellectual Property Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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