Global Data Protection Regulation: EU Road - Part 5


Bethany Walsh

Sep 15, 2021

On January 23, 2019, EU and Japan reached a mutually sufficient arrangement to allow the free flow of personal data between the two economies. The top management of both partners of the agreement regards it as a policy priority and as the integration of the two legal orders. Japan is now on the coveted list of EU appropriate countries, which is a surprising development. How did Japan occupy a place on the European Commission's white list with only four-years effort from an illusory data privacy system in 2014? The key changes began in 2015, when Japan made extensive revison to the Amended Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI). This has changed Japan's law and brought it much closer to the EU system. These measures include expanding the definition of sensitive data, increasing individual rights, strengthening restrictions on the use of personal data provided to third parties, and enhancing the law enforcement power of the personal information protection committee (PPC) of the Japan data protection agency.

The revised APPI includes the protection of the international transmission of personal data in Japan and contains a large number of EU data protection concepts. EU and Japan have made a decision on adequacy to recognize each other's data protection systems. This reciprocity represents that the EU data protection model has spread to a new high point. According to EU practice, Japan will not allow the data to be transmitted from its borders to countries without sufficient data protection. To this end, Japan has also established the right of data embargo in the national privacy administration. Data-driven economic sectors in both Japan and EU can now benefit from trade agreements. As personal data is a key element of the economy in the 21st century, Japan and EU have adopted normative practices in trade and data protection. Obviously, data protection is also a basic element for international business.


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