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  5. Ministerial-Level Meeting of Japan-UK Digital Partnership Held

Ministerial-Level Meeting of Japan-UK Digital Partnership Held

January 16, 2024

Joint Press Release with the Digital Agency and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), and the Digital Agency jointly held an online meeting of the Japan-UK Digital Partnership at the ministerial level to hold discussions on Japan-UK cooperation in the field of digital technology.

1. Overview

The meeting brought together Mr. Kouzuki Ryousuke, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of METI, Mr. Watanabe Koichi, State Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications of MIC, and Mr. Tsuchida Shin, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Digital Transformation of the Digital Agency, as representatives of Japan, and H.E. Mr. Saqib Bhatti, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, as a representative of the United Kingdom.

At the meeting, participants released an outcome document as a result of discussions between the three Japanese entities mentioned above and Parliamentary Under Secretary Bhatti.

The outcome document describes the progress made after the launch of the partnership and the future directions of initiatives, for each item shown in the Joint Actions under the partnership.

Scenes of the meeting

2. Summary of the outcome document

(1) Vendor diversification

Japan and the U.K. focused on the efforts to fortify 5G supply chains through the promotion of open and interoperable Radio Access Network architectures and technology (“Open RAN”), and they confirmed that Japan and the U.K. will continue to commit to the efforts for promoting vendor diversification through bilateral and multilateral frameworks. In addition, they agreed to enrich cooperation on promoting the deployment of Open RAN in third countries.

(2) Semiconductors

In 2023, the two sides issued a joint statement on a semiconductor partnership to promote cooperation in the fields of semiconductors. The two countries discussed an industry-academia-government workshop between Japan and the U.K. for exploring possible further semiconductor cooperation initiatives and concurred in holding the workshop in the first quarter of 2024.

(3) AI

The two sides agreed to endeavor to engage in outreach to increase the number of advocate countries supporting the Hiroshima AI Process. They also agreed to collaboratively encourage the commitment of relevant stakeholders to the Hiroshima Process International Code of Conduct for Organizations Developing Advanced AI Systems, which are initiatives under the Work Plan to Advance the Hiroshima AI Process. In addition, following the results of the AI Safety Summit held in the U.K. in November 2023, they decided to work together to ensure the security of AI models.

(4) Data

Japan and the U.K. confirmed cooperation in facilitating the Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) concept and collaboration under the Institutional Arrangement for Partnership (IAP) to operationalize DFFT, whose establishment was endorsed at the G7 meeting in 2023 held under Japan’s presidency.

Moreover, Japan welcomed the UK's accession to the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) Forum which was established as an opportunity to promote interoperability between different data protection systems and to support effective data protection and privacy. The two sides will continue to support efforts for disseminating and promoting the CBPR system, working together with other member countries.

(5) Digital transformation

The two sides confirmed that under the Memorandum of Cooperation in the area of digital government, which was concluded in 2022, Japan and the U.K. will share knowledge that they have accumulated on digital marketplace and procurement reform, government cloud, and user-centered design and service design. Also, they confirmed that the countries will continue to share their efforts.

3. Related Materials

Division in Charge

Office of International Affairs, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau