Japan, EU agree on developing rules for cross-border data flows

Japan and the European Union broadly agreed Saturday on developing rules relating to cross-border data flows in an effort to accelerate transaction activities in the digital realm, the government said.

The understanding reached at ministerial-level talks in Osaka is expected to be incorporated in the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement as the two sides seek to attract more supportive countries and regions, especially with China maintaining strict data controls.

By making common rules, Japan and EU aim to promote e-commerce businesses and enhance digital technologies among their 600 million citizens, as well as reinforce economic ties between the two like-minded partners committed to the fundamental value of democracy.

The common rules will eliminate constraints on data transfers, including the mandate for domestic storage, while allowing flexibility to address exceptional situations from the standpoint of safeguarding private information.

Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa participated in Saturday's gathering, with both visiting Osaka for the Group of Seven trade ministerial talks through Sunday.

From the regional bloc, Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People, joined the fourth bilateral high-level dialogue on economic issues such as trade and energy, the first of its kind since June.

© Kyodo News