TOKYO: Digital and technology ministers of the Group of Seven major powers Wednesday agreed on the importance of ensuring the security of information and communications technology infrastructure amid the rise of China.
The ministers recognized “the foundational role that telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G and future communication technologies, plays and will play in underpinning our wider digital and ICT infrastructure,” said a ministerial declaration adopted at their online meeting Wednesday night Japan time.
The ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union confirmed “the importance of assuring security and resilience in this critical technology layer in a long-term and sustained manner,” the statement added.
The G-7 officials also “affirmed our opposition to measures which may undermine these democratic values, such as government-imposed internet shutdowns and network restrictions” as seen in Myanmar and some other countries.
“It’s highly meaningful for the G-7 to communicate the importance of collaboration in keeping the internet free, open and safe,” Japanese digital transformation and IT policy minister Takuya Hirai told the online meeting.
The officials confirmed that it is important to diversify supply chains for parts and finished products related to ICT infrastructure in order to ensure the security and curb expenses.
They also agreed to advance work to devise specific measures to realize “data free flow with trust,” a concept proposed by Japan in 2019.
The ministers also decided that the G-7 economies will hold a meeting of officials of competition authorities as early as autumn to discuss how to enhance cooperation on digital market regulation policies amid the increasing presence of IT giants.