*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Friday, April 21, 2023
First floor lobby, Annex to the House of Representatives
Visit to Hamamatsu
First, I would like to mention one point.
The day after tomorrow, April 23, I will visit Hamamatsu City and Kosai City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
During the visit, at Sakichi Toyoda Memorial House I will inspect the automatic loom technology that Toyoda Sakichi developed with his distinguished entrepreneurship. Later, I will inspect a high-power laser oscillator and other equipment at Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., which possesses the highest-power semiconductor laser equipment in the world, with the potential to be used for nuclear fusion. Furthermore, at the Graduate School for the Creation of New Photonics Industries, which was founded mainly by Hamamatsu Photonics, I am scheduled to inspect the research and development facility for realizing laser nuclear fusion of EX-Fusion Inc., a start-up originating from Osaka University.
G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting
Q: I have one question.
At the forthcoming G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting, generative AI is expected to become a theme. Could you tell me about your thoughts on the risks and possibilities associated with the use of generative AI in the industrial world?
A: At the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting, there will be various items of discussion, and naturally, I expect that generative AI, including ChatGPT, which is now a hot topic, will also be discussed.
As you know, generative AI could bring fundamental change to work and other activities. I understand that it could have a significant impact on industrial activity and people’s lives.
METI, as the government organization in charge of promoting innovation, intends to actively implement measures to help to create products and services by using AI, develop the AI systems necessary for doing so, and strengthen the computing infrastructure that forms the foundation for this. On the other hand, regarding generative AI, I am aware that there are concerns over infringement of privacy and copyrights and so-called security risks, such as leakage of confidential information.
Therefore, at the forthcoming G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting, which will be held in Takasaki City at the end of this month, we will hold discussions on concrete measures to disseminate and promote the use of reliable AI systems while considering how to strike a balance between innovation promotion and risk management. We will also discuss what the ideal form of governance is —that is, how regulation can harmonize with innovation.
From our standpoint of promoting innovation, we hope to explore a flexible way of formulating regulations that are harmonious with innovation while utilizing private-sector knowledge, rather than uniformly imposing prior controls. METI hopes to lead the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting on these lines.
Sanctions against Russia
Q: The G7 Hiroshima Summit is scheduled for next month. According to media reports, ahead of the meeting, the G7 is considering imposing what will in effect be a total embargo on exports to Russia, which is continuing its aggression against Ukraine. Please give us a comment to tell us how things actually stand at the moment.
A: I am aware of those media reports. However, I would like to refrain from making comments, as this matter concerns diplomatic negotiations.