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Japan-EU Joint Press Statement on Facilitating the Free Flow of Data Issued

On March 20, 2017, taking the opportunity of CeBIT 2017, an information and communication trade fair held in Germany, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, held a meeting with Mr. Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission (EC), and Ms. Vra Jourova Commissioner, EC, and Mr. Naoki Ota, Special Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Japan, and Mr. Haruhi Kumazawa, Commissioner of the Personal Information Protection Commission, Japan.

At the meeting, participants exchanged views concerning the facilitation of the free flow of data between Japan and the EU, and then issued a joint press statement concerning the strengthening of the dialogue on the data economy and other issues.

1. Background

Taking the opportunity provided by CeBIT, Japan and the EC held a meeting. To further facilitate the free flow of data between Japan and the EU, participants exchanged views on various topics including high-level dialogues on data issues, expert dialogues, promotion of inter-ministry/agency collaboration in advancing work, promotion of industrial cooperation and other issues, and finally issued a joint press statement (For the full text of the joint press statement in English, see Appendix).

2. Key points of the joint press statement

1) Strengthening the dialogue on the data economy
Participants confirmed the importance of data and committed to a continuous exchange of views, using such opportunities as the Japan-EU Business Round Table. They called for expert meetings focusing on the aspects of the data economy, running alongside established dialogues, such as the Japan-EU ICT Policy Dialogue and the Japan-EU Industrial Policy Dialogue.
2) Promoting high standards of data protection and facilitating the free flow of data
Participants reaffirmed the importance of ensuring a high level of privacy and security of personal data. They also acknowledged that recent reforms of their respective privacy legislation offer new opportunities to further facilitate mutual data flows, including through finding an adequate level of protection. They affirmed the importance of promoting future discussion on these issues.
3) Promoting industrial cooperation
Participants stressed the importance of actively involving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in industrial cooperation between Japan and the EU. They underlined the importance of cooperation on the Internet of Things (IoT) between businesses, and welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Japanese IoT Acceleration Consortium (ITAC) and the European Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI), an association of industrial players in the EU, as members focusing on promoting IoT.


Release date

March 21, 2017

Division in Charge

Information Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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