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Digital Minister Kono had a meeting with European Commissioner Breton and signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on Digital Identities

Published on May 2, 2024


On April 30, 2024, Digital Minister Kono had a meeting with European Commissioner Breton in Brussels and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on the interoperability of digital identity (*) between Japan and the EU.

*Digital identity is a collection of attributes that describe an entity (mainly a person or corporation) in a digital space.

Photo of Minister Kono and European Commissioner Breton. Minister Kono is on the left.

Digital identity will not only contribute to the cross-border flow of personal data, but also plays an important role in various fields of industry. For example, it is a crucial factor for ensuring secure and effective data flows, such as tracking carbon footprints across the supply chain in an age that requires cross-border data collaboration.

It is important to promote cooperation on digital identity between Japan and the EU to drive economic growth through the use of digital technologies, collaboration with like-minded countries, and the operationalization of DFFT. First, we will begin to study the feasible mutual use of digital identities between Japan and the EU for business activities and student exchange programs.

Overview of the meeting

Digital Minister Kono and European Commissioner Breton had a meeting prior to the MOC signing ceremony. During the meeting, they discussed the advancement of the IAP, an international mechanism for operationalizing DFFT established under the OECD, as well as cooperation in strengthening the OECD’s structure including the possibility of establishing a new committee on data governance, and the potential collaboration on digital identity. They also confirmed that Japan and the EU will collaborate more closely in line with the contents of the Joint Statement at the MOC and the Japan-EU Digital Partnership Council.

Details of MOC


Promoting bilateral cooperation on digital identities will also contribute to realizing DFFT. Enhancing trust in digital identity will improve the interactions among citizens, foster business activities across borders, and contribute to the creation of bilateral social and economic value between Japan and the EU.

Main areas of cooperation

  1. Both sides intend to continue to explore additional use cases by sharing each side’s initiatives and identifying commonalities between Japan and the EU through analysing the output of a mapping exercise.
  2. Both sides intend to explore use cases on business activities and student exchanges in cooperation with the European Commission and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. This work would be initiated in the course of 2024.
  3. Both sides pave the way for possible mutual recognition of identity management systems.
  4. Both sides continue to cooperate to gradually reinforce the IAP, and from this perspective, they also cooperate, in view of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting under Japan’s Chairmanship in May, to initiate discussion on options to strengthen the OECD structure, including the possibility of establishing a new committee on data governance. Moreover, bilateral initiatives between Japan and the EU, including this MOC, may be presented at the Ministerial Council Meeting.

Signed by

  • KONO Taro, Minister for Digital Transformation (Japan side)
  • Thierry BRETON, Commissioner for Internal Market (EU side)

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Bilateral Meetig with European Commissioner Breton.

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