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Mr. Kono Taro, Minister for Digital Transformation, attended the IGF Kyoto 2023

Published on October 10, 2023
Updated on October 16, 2023


Minister Kono attended the IGF (The Internet Governance Forum) Kyoto 2023 and delivered a keynote speech at the High-Level Leaders Session on October 8. He also held bilateral meetings with ministers from participating countries and others.

IGF is one of the most important forums in the field of Internet policy, where diverse stakeholders discuss a wide range of issues related to the Internet on an equal footing under the auspices of the United Nations.

High Level Leaders Session

At the High Level Leaders Session held on October 8, experts and leaders from various sectors, including government, private sector, technology and academic communities, civil society, and cross-sector stakeholders gathered from around the world to discuss 4 key issues: “Understanding Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT)”, “Evolving Trends in Mis- & Dis-Information”, “Looking ahead to the WSIS (the World Summit on the Information Society)+20: Accelerating the Multistakeholder Process”, and “Access & Innovation for Revitalizing the SDGs”.

Minister Kono delivered a speech at the opening of the High-Level Leaders Session with the theme of DFFT. He discussed with panelists the challenges raised by differing privacy regulations and the need to address misinformation in the context of increasing cross-border data flows. While acknowledging the difficulty to converge regulations and perspectives across countries, he emphasized the necessity to ensure interoperability through the Institutional Arrangement for Partnership (IAP), which is for operationalizing DFFT, as endorsed at this year's G7 Summit, and to achieve the free flow of data with trust.

Minister Kono expressed the viewpoint that enabling continuous dialogues among multi-stakeholders, including governments and experts, and providing "momentum" and "venues" for promoting innovation within the private sector, forms an essential part of IAP's role. Panelists from diverse backgrounds emphasized the need for data free flow with trust not only in addressing environmental issues such as climate change and water resources but also in addressing future pandemic response. They underscored the significance of government, industry, and academia working together as a unified entity to address data-related issues within an international framework.

High Level Leaders Session

Bilateral Meetings

1. United Kingdom - Mr. John Whittingdale, Minister of State for Media and Data, Department for Science, Innovation& Technology

Minister Kono expressed gratitude for the United Kingdom's cooperation with DFFT and introduced the progress to establish the IAP endorsed at G7 this year. He confirmed the continued collaboration between the United Kingdom towards establishing the IAP. In response, Minister Whittingdale expressed interest in specific projects to be implemented within the IAP and exchanged views. He acknowledged that Japan and the United Kingdom are close partners and expressed the desire to further develop the cooperative relationship through the implementation of joint projects in the context of the Japan-UK Digital Partnership.

Picture of Minister Kono and  Minister John Whittingdale.

2. European Union - Ms. Věra Jourová, Vice-President, European Commission

At the beginning of the meeting, Vice President Jourová stated on the European Commission's support for DFFT and the IAP and its intention to collaborate with Japan to establish the IAP, based on the G7 declarations. Minister Kono and Vice-President Jourová discussed strategies to address specific issues in the area of data, as well as expectations and challenges for the future development of AI. They also had a discussion to align the understanding in preparation for the next Japan-EU Digital Partnership Council.

Picture of Minister Kono and Vice-President Věra Jourová.

3. Norway - Mr. Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development

Minister Kono provided an update on the progress to establish the IAP and Minister Gjelsvik expressed interest in specific projects to be implemented within the IAP. They also discussed the impact of generative AI technology on non-English speaking and minority language countries, as well as cybersecurity initiatives. The ministers discussed to continue exchanging views on initiatives related to eID and digital ID wallets.

Picture of Minister Kono and Minister Sigbjørn Gjelsvik

4. Germany - Mr. Stefan Schnorr, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport

Minister Kono provided an update on the progress to establish the IAP and confirmed the continued cooperation with Germany. Mr. Schnorr, State Secretary acknowledged the importance of DFFT and shared the initiatives to enhance data reliability in Germany.

Picture of Minister Kono and Ministry Stefan Schnorr

5. United States - Mr. Nathaniel C. Fick, Ambassador at Large, Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Department of State

Minister Kono provided an update on the progress to establish the IAP, while Ambassador Fick expressed appreciation for Japan's leadership in engaging in the challenging efforts to operationalize DFFT. Discussions were also held regarding the direction to expand strategic collaborations with more countries beyond G7 through DFFT initiatives, reaffirming the importance of achieving broad participation in the IAP. They also exchanged views on the progress of the Hiroshima AI Process and the issues of cybersecurity.

Picture of Minister Kono and Ambassador Nathaniel C. Fick

6. France - Mr. Henri Verdier, Ambassador for Digital Affairs, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

(Posted on October 16, 2023)
During the meeting, Minister Kono provided an update on the progress to establish the IAP, and Ambassador Verdier expressed gratitude for Japan's leadership. They both agreed on the importance of ensuring the free flow of data and interoperability, and confirmed their continued collaboration. Afterwards, they also exchanged views on AI.

Photo of Minister Kono and Ambassador Verdier.

7. ICANN- Ms. Tripti Sinha, Board Chair

During the meeting with Ms. Tripti Sinha, discussions were held on impact of generative AI and the Internet space in non-English-speaking and minority-language countries. In addition, there was an exchange of views on efforts to preserve the cultures and languages of each country and the future of the Internet space.

Picture of Minister Kono and Board Chair

8. ICC - Maria Fernanda Garza, Chairwoman of ICC

Ms. Garza, Chairwoman of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), expressed the recognition that cross-border data flow of non-personal data is essential for the development of the Global South. She showed support for efforts related to DFFT and expressed ICC's intention to collaborate with the Digital Agency. Minister Kono provided an overview of the progress in efforts related to DFFT and the establishment of the IAP and expressed the desire to collaborate with international organizations and industry stakeholders.

Picture of Minister Kono and Chairwoman Maria Fernanda Garza

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