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METI Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki Attends G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting

August 27, 2018

From August 21 to 26, 2018, Mr. Daisaku Hiraki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Salta, the Argentine Republic, to attend the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting.

At the meeting, participants exchanged views on free flow of information, the importance of digital governments, utilization of new digital technologies, participation of entrepreneurs and SMEs in the digital economy and other issues, and adopted a ministerial declaration and annexes. In addition, member countries welcomed the initiatives presented by Japan, the 2019 G20 chair.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki also held meetings with: H.E. Mr. Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawah, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Saudi Arabia; H.E. Ms. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner, Digital Economy and Society, European Commission; H.E. Mr. Andrés Ibarra, Minister of Ministry of Modernization, and H.E. Dr. Lino Barañao, Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Argentina; H.E. Mr. Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy and Deputy Chief Technology Officer, United States; and H.E. Mr. Mounir Mahjoubi, Minister of State for the Digital Sector, France.

At these meetings, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki exchanged views with each dignitary concerning promotion of free flow of information, cooperation frameworks in the digital area between Japan and each partner country, and agendas of the next G20 meeting that will be chaired by Japan.

1. G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting (August 24)

On August 24, the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting, the second meeting of the G20 member countries in this field, was held in Salta, Argentina, bringing together representatives from 25 countries and regions, including Japan, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, China, Russia and other invited countries, and officials from the secretariats of international organizations, including the OECD.

At the meeting, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki spoke on the importance of establishing appropriate competitive environments, including free flow of data in the digital economy, and productivity improvement originating in digital governments. Moreover, he stated that Japan, the 2019 G20 chair, will further deepen discussions on ideal approaches to digital economy and society to enrich people’s lives, including discussions on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

As an outcome of the meeting, participants adopted a ministerial declaration and annexes, presenting elements necessary for the digital economy, including appropriate policy frameworks, building consumer trust and confidence, privacy protection, and free flow of information with secured intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. In addition, participants welcomed the initiatives presented by Japan, concerning continuous efforts such as promotion of digital governments, in addition to the important issues including artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Furthermore, in light of the significance of e-commerce in developing the digital economy, participants encouraged the G20 Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) to collaborate with the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) in advancing discussions.

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2. Meeting with Minister Al-Sawah, Saudi Arabia

Both sides shared a recognition that Japan and Saudi Arabia have made great advancement in economic ties since the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 formulated in March 2017. In addition, they exchanged views on future close cooperation between Japan and Saudi Arabia, the 2020 G20 chair, in advancing G20 meetings that will be led by Japan as the 2019 G20 chair.

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3. Meeting with Commissioner Gabriel, European Commission

Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki requested Commissioner Gabriel to continue to support Japan in completing necessary procedures to achieve a framework for smooth mutual transfer of personal data between Japan and the EU, based on the joint statement confirmed at the Japan-EU summit meeting in July 2018. In addition, both sides exchanged views on future cooperation between Japan and the EU.

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4. Meeting with Minister Ibarra and Minister Barañao, Argentina

Both sides mentioned the outcomes of G20 meetings in 2018, and based on this, they exchanged views concerning continuous cooperation between Japan and Argentina toward the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in 2019.

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5. Meeting with Deputy Assistant Kratsios, U.S.

Both sides exchanged views on future cooperation between the countries toward the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy to be held in 2019.

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6. Meeting with Minister Mahjoubi, France

In light of the Japan-France joint statement concerning cooperation in the fields of innovations and digital sector agreed to in July 2018, both sides exchanged views on future enhancement of cooperation relationships between Japan and France. In addition, as France will be the 2019 G7 chair, both sides confirmed the importance of close information sharing between Japan and France.

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Office of International Affairs, Information Policy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau