European Interest

MEPs travel to Japan to look into AI developments and regulation

© European Union (2017)

The European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee is sending a seven member delegation to Japan from 15 to 19 May to look into issues related to the advancement of digital products and services, especially artificial intelligence, and the Japanese approach to tech regulation.

While in Tokyo, MEPs will discuss AI, digital regulation, tackling online disinformation with Ministers Taro Kono (Minister for Digital Transformation) and Minister Takeaki Matsumoto (Minister for Internal Affairs). They will also have the opportunity to meet representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Japanese Diet (Parliament), leading tech companies (Panasonic, Nec and Fujitsu) and experts from the University of Tokyo.

In Kyoto, the delegation will explore legal aspects of artificial intelligence applications with academics from the Kyoto University and continue with meetings with manufacturers (Omron and Horiba) to learn about the innovative developments and challenges in the field of AI and its uses in the medical sector in the country. Topics of discussion during the visit also include Japan’s new Economic Security Promotion Act and its most recent law on cybersecurity.

Ahead of the visit, the chair of the delegation, Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK), said: “For a long time, Japan has been a frontrunner in the digital area. The mission is important, as we will have the possibility to exchange positions, information, and learn from each other. The main goal of the mission is to discuss the state of affairs in terms of artificial intelligence and digital services, the new Economic Security Promotion Act and its geo-economic implications, as well as Japan‘s most recent legislation on cybersecurity. I hope that by the end of the mission, we would have a more complete picture of the relevant legislation in Japan and the opportunities for collaboration”.

Members of the delegation: Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE), Pablo Arias Eccheberria (EPP, ES), Brando Benifei (S&D, IT), Dita Charanzová (Renew, CZ), Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/EFA, PT), and Anne Sophie Pelletier (The Left, FR).

These discussions will feed into the Committee’ ongoing work on the Artificial Intelligence Act, the Single Market Emergency Instrument and its working groups on the implementation of the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act.

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