April 30th Press Conference: Reflection on the G7 Summit
The G7 Digital and Technology Ministers’ Meeting took place yesterday and today. It followed the Digital Transformation Summit held on April 28th, two days ago.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the local governments of Gunma Prefecture, including Takasaki and Ikaho, among others, for their support in hosting the conference.
Surrounded by beautiful mountains such as Mt. Haruna and with access to delicious meat and wild vegetables, the governor’s wonderful hospitality allowed us ministers to engage in sincere and candid discussions.
Every minister that attended complimented the amenities.
Coupled with the exhibition of Japan’s outstanding technology, in addition to showcasing Gunma’s charm, I believe that this conference also highlighted Japan’s appeal.
During this conference, there were significant developments regarding the key policy of the Kishida administration, DFFT.
First, we identified priority issues concerning the establishment of DFFT. Second, we agreed to arrange an international framework to execute such priority matters.
The solution to establish the DFFT includes four pillars: “Data Localization,” “Increasing Credibility with Regard to Government Data Access” to prevent intellectual property exploitation and privacy infringements, “Regulatory Cooperation” to achieve interoperability of data protection systems, and “Data Collaboration” that operates beyond corporate and national borders. Alongside these pillars, the approach aims to achieve success through multi-stakeholder engagement.
Furthermore, this new framework will become the world’s first international organization that combines government and private sectors with a permanent secretariat dedicated to the subject of “data.”
I am grateful for the 2019 G20 Summit hosted in Japan for initiating the effort, the United Kingdom as the 2021 G7 Chair for formulating a roadmap, and Germany as last year’s G7 Chair for formulating an action plan.
The G7 Digital Ministers worked diligently to arrive where we did this weekend. Thanks to the efforts of the past two years, I have been able to share our strong commitment to materializing DFFT at this year’s Japan-hosted G7 Summit to various countries at the beginning of this year.
Because digitization has a substantial impact on society, the focus on data policy, one of its pillars, naturally differs from country to country.
Each country desires to improve the DFFT initiative, and these aspirations have intersected.
The successful conclusion of this round of negotiations was the result of the diligent efforts of the clerical staff who worked through the night, as well as the political decisions made by the ministers. I am deeply grateful to all parties involved, especially to the chairman, who worked tirelessly.
Regarding establishing this new international framework, we hope to gain support and commitment from various international leaders in Hiroshima.
We aim to establish this framework within the next year.
In the future, we aim to develop concrete projects that will help overcome barriers in cross-border data transfers.
Japan has proposed the establishment of an international database on data regulations and a regulatory sandbox geared towards the use of innovative technology for personal information protection. We would like to solicit proposals from a wide range of people involved in the public and private sectors.
Italy will be next year’s host country, but Vice Minister Valentini participated in this year’s discussions as well.
We hope to inherit the momentum gained through this establishment agreement.
In addition, we invited representatives from Ukraine, India, and Indonesia to hold discussions with us. We are deeply grateful to Ukrainian Deputy Minister Ionan of the Digital Ministry for coming to Japan despite their challenging circumstances. They shared how they protect their people, land, culture, and values against emergencies by deploying the digital culture developed during peacetime.
Recognizing the importance of input from the Global South given their rapid development in digital innovation, we were honored to have the participation of Minister Vaishnaw, India’s Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & IT, and Ms. Tayyiba Indonesia’s Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics.
We recognize that interest in DFFT extends beyond the G7 circle. Going forward, we aspire to widen the circle to include those like-minded countries also invested in DFFT, including the Global South.
Currently, generative AI is a global hot topic. If a generative AI happens to use data that has been influenced by misinformation, it can create solutions that prompt chaos in our societies, including fake news.
Furthermore, the mishandling of data can result in unintentional breaches of personal information and privacy, allowing the possibility for AI to commit human rights violations.
As AI’s generative capabilities advance even further, DFFT becomes more important than ever in maximizing opportunities while minimizing risk.
I feel that the world has high expectations for DFFT and for Institutional Arrangements for Interoperability (IAP).
As Japan’s digital minister, I plan to lead in upcoming initiatives for this new framework.