Results of the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting in Takasaki, Gumma
Published on April 30, 2023
On April 29 and 30, 2023, the Digital Agency jointly held the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting in Takasaki, Gunma with Ministry for Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. This meeting is one of the relevant ministerial meetings of the G7 Hiroshima Summit to be held from May 19 to 21. In addition to the G7 countries and regions, invited countries and relevant international organizations participated in the meeting to discuss various issues in the digital economy.
As the outcome document, a Ministerial Declaration and Annexes were adopted.
- Main results of discussions at the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting
- Bilateral Meetings
- WEF Public/Private DX Summit Participation
G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting
Main results of discussions at the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting
In this meeting, we discussed six political agendas ("Facilitation of Cross-Border Data Flows and Data Free Flow with Trust", "Secure and Resilient Digital Infrastructure", "Internet Governance", "Emerging and Disruptive Technologies in Innovating Society and Economy”, “Responsible AI and Promoting of AI Governance", "Digital Competition") . As a result of this meeting, "The G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Declaration" was adopted.
Points of the Ministerial Declaration are as follows.
Facilitation of Cross-Border Data Flows and Data Free Flow with Trust
Endorsing the establishment of the Institutional and Arrangement for Partnership (IAP) and agreement on Annex on G7 Vision for operationalizing DFFT and its priorities.
Secure and Resilient Digital Infrastructure
Endorsing the G7 Vision of the future network in the Beyond 5G/6G era, which include openness and interoperability as the elements, and the G7 Action Plan for building a secure and resilient digital Infrastructure.
Endorsing the G7 Action Plan for an open free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet.
Innovating the Economic Society and Enhancing the Emerging Technologies
Ensuring interoperability of digital infrastructure, countermeasures against software vulnerabilities in the digital supply chain, and utilizing the governance practices that are friendly to innovative technological innovations.
Promoting Responsible AI and AI Governance
Endorsing G7 Action Plan for enhancing global interoperability of AI Governance and agreed to convene G7 discussions on generative AI as soon as possible.
Competition Policy on Digital Market
Agreeing to share issues and challenges in promoting digital competition such as those common to G7 members in planning and implementing existing and new laws and regulatory tools and to convene a digital competition summit in the fall of 2023.
At this meeting, it was agreed for the first time to establish an international framework with a permanent secretariat to facilitate the Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT). This will allow us to operationalize DFFT, which we have had a lot of discussion since it was proposed by the then Prime Minister Abe at Davos Forum in 2019 and endorsed by each country at the G20 Osaka Summit.
Since Japan proposed DFFT at the G20 Osaka Summit in 2019, discussions on DFFT have made steady progress, with a roadmap adopted under the UK Presidency and an action plan under the German Presidency.
At this meeting, the participants also referred to "recovery and sustainability of the international economy through facilitation of DFFT," "importance of multi-stakeholder dialogue to enhance interoperability, availability, and reliability in rules and mechanisms," and "expectations for the international framework.”
- Ministerial Declaration The G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting（PDF／314KB）
- ANNEX1 on Priorities and Operationalization of DFFT（PDF／68KB）
- ANNEX2 G7 Vision for future networks in the Beyond 5G/6G era（PDF／102KB）
- ANNEX3 G7 Action Plan for Building a Secure and Resilient Network Infrastructure（PDF／77KB）
- ANNEX4 G7 Action Plan for Open, Free, Global, Interoperable, Reliable, and Secure Internet（PDF／82KB）
- ANNEX5 G7 Action Plan for promoting global interoperability between tools for trustworthy AI（PDF／102KB）
During the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting, Minister Kono held the bilateral meetings with Mr. Francis Bilodeau, Associate Deputy Minister (Canada), Mr. Valentino Valentini, Vice Minister (Italy), H.E. Mr. Nathaniel C. Fick, Ambassador at Large (U.S), H.E. Ms. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President (EU), H.E. Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Cabinet Minister (India), H.E. Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister (Germany), Mr. Paul Scully, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (U.K.).
（1）Meeting with Mr. Francis Bilodeau, Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada
Minister Kono met Mr. Francis Bilodeau, Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada, and earned support for our efforts to establish an international framework to operationalize DFFT and confirmed the collaboration and partnership for the project after its establishment. They also exchanged views on generative AI and shared issues such as its ethical use. In addition, they discussed the importance of the government's role based on dialogue with industry, government, and academia to ensure that emerging technologies can be utilized safely by all individuals.
（2）Meeting with Mr. Valentino Valentini, Vice Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy
Minister Kono met Mr. Valentino Valentini, Vice Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy, and earned support for our efforts to establish an international framework to operationalize DFFT. Vice Minister Valentini also agreed to continue and proceed with a discussion of this year as the chair country next year to develop the specific projects to solve the issues of cross-border data flow. They also exchanged views on the generative AI and the possibility of cooperation with SPID.
（3）Meeting with H.E. Mr. Nathaniel C. Fick, Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, U.S.
Minister Kono met with H.E. Mr. Nathaniel C. Fick, Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, U.S., and earned support for our efforts to establish an international framework to operationalize DFFT and discussed ways to develop specific projects and expand our global outreach beyond the G7 countries. They also discussed the use of emerging technologies, including generative AI and multi-stakeholder approaches to solve the issues at hand.
（4）Meeting with H.E. Ms. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President, European Commission
Minister Kono met H.E. Ms. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President, European Commission, and earned support for our efforts to establish an international framework to operationalize DFFT and confirmed the continued collaboration for the future specific projects.
In addition, Minister Kono and Executive Vice-President Vestager exchanged views on a wide range of topics, such as collaboration of eID, the spread of Peppol for e-invoicing, bridging the digital divide and the role of digital promotion committee, the state of digital education, technology-based alternatives to labor shortages, and the way to deal with the emerging technologies such as AI.
（5）Meeting with H.E. Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Cabinet Minister for Electronics & Information Technology; Communications; and Railways, India
In a meeting with H.E. Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Cabinet Minister for Electronics & Information Technology; Communications; and Railways, India, Minister Kono expressed his gratitude for the participation in the G7 Digital Tech Ministers’ Meeting and confirmed their collaboration as the chair countries of the G7 and G20. They also exchanged views on the common agenda, such as ensuring trust in data flow, and Japan's contribution to digital skills. As a follow-up to the bilateral meeting held during the visit to Delhi in March, they also discussed the possibility of collaboration on eID and cashless payment.
（6）Meeting with H.E. Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, Germany
Regarding DFFT, Minister Kono and H.E. Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, confirmed that the action plan formulated during the G7 German presidency in 2022 led to positive outcomes at the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting. They also confirmed that the outcome was caused by the collaboration between Japan and Germany.
Minister Wissing evaluated the discussions involving invited countries such as Ukraine, Indonesia, and India, and expressed the expectations for cooperation with the G20.
（7）Meeting with Mr. Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy) , U.K.
Regarding DFFT, Minister Kono and Mr. Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, U.K.) confirmed that the roadmap formulated during the G7 U.K. presidency in 2021 led to positive outcomes at the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting. They also shared their progress toward digital transformation in government and society such as the implementation of an ID system. In addition, they exchanged their views to enhance the cooperation in Japan-U.K. Digital Partnership, and the future partnership between the Digital Agency and the GDS (Government Digital Service).
Minister Kono participated in WEF（The World Economic Forum）Public-Private DX Summit
Minister Kono attended the Digital Transformation Summit (DX Summit) on April 28, 2023, which was an official public-private event of the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting in Gunma, Takasaki. The event was organized by the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Japan in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Prior to the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting, experts from government, business, and civil society gathered to discuss topics such as "Governance Initiatives to Promote DX and Address Challenges" that would be driven by Digital Transformation (DX) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).
At the beginning of the "Digital Infrastructure and Governance" session, a robot avatar modeled after Minister Kono spoke instead of the minister who couldn't attend the session due to parliamentary obligations. The robot talked about the need to eliminate analog regulations like fax machines and floppy disks and the importance of establishing an international framework to operationalize DFFT, which was a major agenda at the two-day G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting scheduled from April 29 and 30, 2023.
Minister Kono participated in a photo session held at the end of the event. The DX Summit's focus on the theme utilizing emerging technologies for managing overlapping tasks, such as avatar robot this time, showcased the potential for overcoming previously deemed impossible challenges in the future.
Picture with Minister Kono and an avatar robot modeled after him.
「Digital Infrastructure and Governance」session participants.