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Ghana News Agency | 12 May 2022
EU and Japan agree on digital cooperation
Tokyo, May 12, (dpa/GNA) - The European Union and Japan have agreed on increased cooperation to develop digital technologies, cyber security and artificial intelligence.
Speaking after an EU-Japan summit in Tokyo Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said "leadership in this field is key to our competitiveness and security."
The digital partnership between Brussels and Tokyo is the first of its kind between the EU and another country.
Both sides also agreed to use their strategic partnership to strengthen and diversify supply chains, for example in semiconductors, von der Leyen said after the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
It is still unclear what specific effects the new digital partnership will have. The first goal is to convene high-level meetings at ministerial level and create a framework for closer cooperation, an EU official said ahead of the summit.
The EU has been trying for some time to expand the digital sectors of the economy in order not to be left behind by other countries. In the course of the global microchip shortage, for example, Europe’s dependency on imports was painfully revealed.
The EU and Japan also want to cooperate more closely in other areas. At the summit which also included EU Council President Charles Michel, both sides agreed to work together to achieve a "free and open" Indo-Pacific and to ensure economic and energy security, Kishida announced.
The EU wants to play a more active role in the Indo-Pacific in the future. Von der Leyen called the Indo-Pacific a "thriving region," but also a region with "tensions."
The background is China’s growing claim to power in the region and the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme.
Von der Leyen praised Japan’s "strong" response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Japan is one of five countries in the Indo-Pacific region that decided to impose sanctions on Moscow after Russia invaded Ukraine.
As a member of the Group of Seven leading democratic economies (G7), Japan also recently agreed to phase out or ban Russian oil imports, among other new punitive measures. This is a step on which EU member states have been unable to agree.