UK and Japan launch new a digital partnership

The UK and Japan have announced a new digital partnership to boost their joint working in emerging tech, data sharing, supply chain resilience, online safety and data innovation among others.

The newly launched partnership will develop the unique strengths of both countries and deliver on the UK’s ambition, set out in this year’s Digital Strategy, to increase international collaboration on complex tech issues.

This bilateral partnership builds on the existing deep and historic partnership between both countries, as set out in the UK-Japan Joint Statement in 2019, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2020 and their joint commitment of 4th May 2022 to deepen bilateral digital collaboration.

The initial focus of this partnership will be four pillars including digital infrastructure and technologies; data; digital regulation and standards; and digital transformation.

The partnership will aim to:

  • structure engagement between the UK and Japanese governments on a range of digital issues, including how to improve the resilience of globally significant supply chains such as semiconductors and telecommunications.
  • develop joint research and development initiatives to share expertise about these vital technologies.
  • strengthen foundations for trade and investment between their tech economies and make it easier for businesses to operate in both countries by aligning approaches to digital regulation.
  • improve cyber resilience; the UK and Japan will promote initiatives to standardise the security of internet-connected products and apps and address the risks of digital services in supply chains.
  • collaboration between the UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and Japanese regulators will be supported to give businesses and citizens greater certainty about the security of data sharing between both countries.

Last month, techUK launched an industry position paper on future UK-Japan cooperation on tech and innovation and we’re pleased to see that the UK-Japan Digital Partnership priorities included many of our suggestions on strengthening bilateral corporation on data flows, cyber security, development of common standards and regulatory approaches as well as building resilience of telecoms and semiconductor supply chain. We are also pleased to see that the partnership commits both governments to work together on all issues digital on WTO, G7 and OECD level.