Joint statement by Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality of the European Commission and Haruhi Kumazawa, Commissioner of the Personal Information Protection Commission of Japan
Commissioner Haruhi Kumazawa and Commissioner Věra Jourová held a constructive meeting in Tokyo on 14th December 2017 with the aim to accelerate work towards achieving mutual adequacy findings as soon as possible in 2018.
They reaffirmed the importance of this objective especially in light of the recent finalisation of the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the European Union. By ensuring the free flow of personal data, a simultaneous finding of adequacy will complement and enhance the benefits of the Japan-EU EPA, while strengthening the protection of the fundamental right to privacy. It will also contribute to the strategic partnership between Japan and the EU.
They took stock of the significant progress made in the past months and explored solutions to bridge relevant differences between the two systems. They agreed to move to the next stage to work on the details of those solutions and accelerate the pace of the talks. With this in mind, the next high-level meeting will be organised at the beginning of 2018 in Brussels with a view to finalising the discussions.
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.