• DIGITALEUROPE’s Director General meets Japanese members in Tokyo

    14 May 2018In order to deepen its relationship with its Japanese members and long-term partner association JEITA, DIGITALEUROPE DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Communications Director Lionel Sola and Trade Manager Sarah Wagner spent one week in Japan, learning about the latest technological innovations and the Japanese business environment.

    During the week, DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl visited the headquarters and innovation centres of various Japanese members in order to better understand their strategies, business operations as well as the legislative environment they operate in. She had the opportunity to meet with JEITA and NEC executives; visit the Panasonic Tokyo Centre, the Sony head office as well as the Hitachi headquarter.

    The Asia visit was kicked off with a high-level meeting between DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl and JEITA president Mr Hisato Nagao. During their encounter, the leaders discussed possibilities of closer cooperation in the future. They conversed on the importance of cross-border data flows to facilitate digital trade and reiterated their full commitment to open trade practices. In this regard, they elaborated on the possibilities for the Japanese, American and European ICT industry to share input with the G20 negotiators during the Japanese presidency in 2019.

    The meeting was followed by a bilateral roundtable with JEITA members, focussing on EU-Japan digital trade priorities such as data flows and recent developments regarding the Economic Partnership Agreement. To this extent, they shared their impressions on the ongoing negotiations for mutual adequacy decisions between EU and Japan. Cyber security, Artificial Intelligence and its utilization in Japan was also a key topic. In this context, JEITA outlined the notion of “Society 5.0”, i.e. the holistic approach of Japanese institutions towards the digitization of the Japanese economy and society. The meeting was closed in convivial atmosphere with a dinner co-hosted by DIGITALEUROPE and JEITA.

    In addition to getting to know JEITA staff and members, Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl also visited individual DIGITALEUROPE member companies. To begin with, she met with NEC CTO Mr Katsumi Emura, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board. During the meeting, Mr Emura stressed the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals to NEC. He also highlighted the significance of Artificial Intelligence in an ageing society and the need for adequate education and skills to help the Japanese society transform to Society 5.0.

    The gathering was succeeded by a visit of the Panasonic Tokyo Center together with Wataru Nomiyama and Reiko Tsuchiya as well as Masato Nakamura. They presented their vision to realize “a better life, a better world” for customers by demonstrating solutions for future housing, automotive and B2B with consumer electronics at their core.

    At the Sony head office, DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl was given a private tour by Mr Hiromichi Takashima, Mr Jun Sakaguchi and Mr Toshiya Nishigori, during which latest technological innovations were showcased. With Ms Yurika Kamitani, they further elaborated on the importance of cyber security and privacy as well as environmental standards and cross-border connectivity.

    At last, a Hitachi delegation comprising Mr Yasuo Tanabe, Mr Yukio Shirakawa, Mr Yoichi Yamano and Mr Taro Inoguchi kindly hosted a demo session at their headquarters, shedding light on their latest technological innovations incorporating aspects of cyber security, data analytics, Artificial Intelligence and robotics.

    In addition to meeting DIGITALEUROPE’s members, DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl pursued several talks with the car industry to coordinate efforts regarding common issues of digitization. They also shared their visions regarding standards, the usage and definition of spectrum bandwidth as well as frequencies for connected cars and autonomous vehicles.

    Overall, the DIGITALEUROPE delegation was impressed by the innovative technology exhibited by its member companies, confirming that they are true leaders of their kind. Seeing smart fridges that encourage you to follow a healthy diet, automated cars whose windows display movies or shells that show you the past in D3 in your living room – the future will simplify the life of people of over the world. To ensure that this bright digital future is secure, companies are investing in becoming sustainable and inclusive leaders. DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl will continue to engage with the Japanese member companies and support them along the way in playing a leading role.


    For more information, contact:

    Sarah Wagner
    Policy Manager
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