Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality of the European Commission, and Haruhi Kumazawa, Commissioner of the Personal Information Protection Commission of Japan met in Brussels on 3 July 2017 to advance their dialogue with a view to promoting high standards of data protection as a fundamental right and a central factor of consumer trust in the digital economy.
They welcomed the work carried out over the course of the last months by the Secretariat of the Personal Information Protection Commission of Japan and the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission, which has significantly strengthened the mutual understanding of the EU and Japanese data protection rules. On the basis of that work, they acknowledged that the recent reforms of their respective privacy legislation have further increased the convergence between their two systems. This offers new opportunities to further facilitate smooth and mutual data flows, in particular through simultaneous finding of an adequate level of protection by both sides.
With this in mind, they decided to intensify their efforts towards achieving this goal by early 2018, including by addressing relevant differences, building on the enhanced convergence between their two systems.
As announced in January 2017 in its Communication on Exchanging and Protecting personal data in a globalised world, the Commission has launched a dialogue with the aim of reaching an "adequacy decision" with Japan. Adequacy decisions allow for the free flow of personal data to countries with "essentially equivalent" data protection rules to those in the EU.