7th Japanese-German ICT Policy Dialogue

Japan

On 21 June, the 7th Japanese-German ICT Policy Dialogue took place at the premises of the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) - together with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). The hybrid Digital Dialogue was divided into a government dialogue in the morning and an exchange with stakeholders in the afternoon.

State Secretary Schnorr (BMDV) and Vice Minister Yoshida (MIC). © Sara Schmitz / BMDV

The aim of the event was to strengthen bilateral cooperation in order to jointly improve the framework conditions for the international digital economy. Sharing best practices in the use of digital innovations was the focus of the Digital Dialogue.

At the government dialogue, State Secretary Stefan Schnorr (BMDV) welcomed a high-ranking delegation of the Japanese MIC, led by Hiroshi Yoshida, Vice Minister for Policy Coordination. In addition to the two partner ministries, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB) also contributed their expertise.

The event was complemented by the stakeholder contributions in the afternoon. Dr Irina Soeffky, Director for National, European and International Digital Policy at BMDV, moderated the presentations of stakeholders from both countries.

Focus topic: Potentials and challenges of new technologies

State Secretary Schnorr and Vice Minister Yoshida emphasised the great importance of cooperation in international digital policy. Schnorr highlighted the need for multilateral agreements at the international level in times of rapid technological change. In this context, both politicians welcomed laws such as the European AI Act and the international Hiroshima AI Process of the G7.

Content-wise, the event picked up on the last Digital Dialogue. The focus was on 5G/6G and Open RAN, Artificial Intelligence (AI), measures against illegal/harmful content, best practices in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), ICT infrastructure for high-speed trains and the metaverse.

Discussions focused on the potentials and challenges of the new technologies. Both sides agreed that the expansion of network technologies, AI and ICT as well as smart cities should be promoted. At the same time, various government representatives emphasised that risks must be actively counteracted.

Government representatives from Japan's MIC and Germany's BMDV, BMWK, BMBF and BMWSB. © Sara Schmitz / BMDV

Perspectives of the German and Japanese economy

The second part of the event included an exchange with representatives of the German and Japanese business sector as well as civil society. The stakeholders contributed their perspectives on topics such as 5G, Open RAN, Beyond 5G and 6G, AI and industrial cooperation between the two countries.

The exchange repeatedly highlighted the importance of partnership between Japan and Germany on new technologies. According to the stakeholders, the aim of the collaborations should be to incorporate the shared values into research, development and testing of new technologies. The participants exchanged views on common challenges, such as the classification of risks in connection with AI or the expansion of mobile networks.

Furthermore, stakeholders agreed that multi-stakeholder approaches and international forums can and should be used to create joint visions for 5G, 6G, OpenRAN and AI governance.

Further cooperation in the Japanese-German ICT Policy Dialogue

The dialogue event marked an important step towards deepening the bilateral cooperation based on shared values and ideas. In April 2023, the partner ministries had previously signed a Work Plan in which they agreed on priority topics for the Digital Dialogue. The Work Plan also serves as a basis for future cooperation activities.

Further meetings with government representatives and stakeholders are planned to regularly exchange on international legal frameworks, the digital transformation in each country and technological innovations.

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