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METI State Minister Isozaki Attends G7 Digital Ministerial Meeting

May 17, 2019

From May 14 to 17, 2019, Mr. Yoshihiko Isozaki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Paris, France, to attend the G7 Digital Ministerial Meeting, an informal gathering of the G7 member countries.

At the meeting, participants held discussions on international cooperation in the utilization of AI, measures against online hazardous activities (e.g., hate speech and terrorism), building trust in data-driven technologies (e.g., AI, IoT and 5G), facilitation of international data flow and other issues. Following this, they confirmed the need for consolidated cooperation among G7 member countries in the field of digital technologies.

Moreover, State Minister Isozaki held meetings each with: H.E. Mr. Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada; H.E. Mr. Cédric O, Minister of State for the Digital Sector, attached to the Minister of Economy and Finance and the Minister of Public Action and Accounts, France; H.E. Mr. Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy, U.S. and H.E. Mr. Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the United Kingdom. At each meeting, the two sides exchanged views on promotion of free flow of data, cooperation in the field of AI and collaboration at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy chaired by Japan.

1. Informal G7 Digital Ministerial Meeting (May 15)

In response to the rising awareness of the importance of the digital field toward the convening of the G7 summit meeting to be held in August 2019, on May 15, 2019, the G7 Digital Ministerial Meeting was held in Paris, France, bringing together digital ministers and other officials of G7 member countries Japan, France, the EU, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as representatives of invited countries, including Australia, India, New Zealand and Chile, and those of international organizations, including ITU, OECD and UNESCO.

State Minister Isozaki delivered a speech on the field of AI at the meeting and conveyed the importance of international cooperation from the viewpoint of industrial vitalization. In addition, he also stated that Japan will support an initiative led by France and Canada to create the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI), an international panel concerning AI, and that it will continue to discuss Japan's participation in the panel. Moreover, he also conveyed that it is important for G7 member countries to lead efforts for disseminating the concept of “Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT),” a concept that Japan presents for facilitating free flow of data while ensuring trust, into common understanding not only among the G20 member countries but also the rest of the world. Furthermore, he, as a representative of Japan, the G20 host country in 2019, also confirmed with participating countries the importance of collaboration between the G7 member countries and the G20 member countries.

In the Chairs’ Summary of the meeting, issued by France of the G7 host country in 2019, participants confirmed the need for G7 cooperation in addressing certain issues, including utilization of AI, measures against online hazardous activities (e.g., hate speech and terrorism), building trust in data driven technologies (e.g., AI, IoT and 5G), facilitation of international data flow and other issues. Following this, they confirmed that the G7 member countries should continue to advance discussions on the details of the discussions held at this meeting toward the convening of the G7 summit meeting in August 2019.

2. Meeting with Minister Bains, Canada

The two sides focused on the IPAI, an international panel on AI and an initiative lead by France and Canada, and exchanged views on roles that the panel should play, future directions for establishment of the panel and other issues.

3. Meeting with Minister O, France

The two sides mentioned the discussion results of the G7 Digital Ministerial Meeting, and based on this, they exchanged views on the IPAI, an initiative lead by France and Canada, facilitation of data free flow with trust, a concept Japan presents, and collaboration in future discussions at the G7 and G20 summit meetings.

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

The two sides mentioned the discussion results of the G7 Digital Ministerial Meeting, and based on this, they exchanged views on the importance of facilitating data free flow with trust and bilateral collaboration toward the convening of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy to be held in June 2019.

5. Meeting with Secretary of State Wright, U.K.

The two sides exchanged views on collaboration toward the convening of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy and bilateral cooperation toward realization of data free flow with trust.

Division in Charge

International Affairs Office, Policy Planning and Coordination Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau