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There has been much debate about how to invigorate Japan’s economy by supporting data and AI businesses.  We believe it is necessary to identify the barriers or issues that may prevent such businesses from growing and the appropriate solutions to those barriers.

The Study Group for Laws and Policies Regarding Competition for and Industry of Data at the Nishimura Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), chaired by Professor Emeritus Nobuhiro Nakayama of the University of Tokyo, was established to study the possible legal and policy systems that would be required for optimal growth of data and AI businesses in Japan.  The Group is pleased to have, as members and speakers, leading legal scholars in the fields of competition, information and intellectual property law; engineers and researchers experienced in AI and IoT technology; and representatives of companies involved in data and AI businesses.  The Group has now applied its findings to produce a report released to public and private stakeholders, including the Japanese Government, outlining legal and policy proposals that would help accelerate the growth of data and AI businesses.  The Japanese and English versions of the report can be downloaded at the link below.

The key goals of the proposals in this report are to encourage public and private stakeholders, such as the Japanese government, to:

(1) Organize an environment that enables parties to voluntarily transfer or share data based on market principles;

(2) Maintain laws and policies that balance the protection and promotion of the free transfer or utilization of data and, at the same time, to make efforts to promote international trade law and policies to restrain data protectionism; and

(3) With regard to the enforcement of competition law and policies relating to data and AI businesses, to encourage sound and justifiable business activities, and not to create any factors that allow other enterprises to neglect to examine whether they have alternative means of competition.

These proposals aim to provide guidance on the development of a legal and policy framework that would allow public and private stakeholders to take further steps.