The United States and Japan are leaders in the global digital economy, not just as producers and consumers, but as advocates for policies that enable its existence and development.
"Our partnership is strong," said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy Daniel Sepulveda, "because we both believe that promoting continued global connectivity . . . holds the potential to help lift people out of poverty, formalize the informal economy around the world, increase the efficiency of supply chains, increase the productivity of workers, raise wages, and improve people’s lives."
At the recent G7 Information and Communications Technology Ministers meeting in Japan, a new Charter for the Digitally Connected World was agreed to. The Charter reaffirms fundamental principles, including promoting and protecting human rights, promoting and protecting the free flow of information, supporting the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance, and strengthening digital connectivity and supporting inclusiveness for all.
The Global Connect initiative, launched by the U.S. last fall, is a large scale effort to increase Internet access around the world. The U.S. intends to partner with interested countries, including Japan, to develop strategies to spur connectivity and entrepreneurship, cross-border information flows and open and competitive market places.
The Tran-Pacific Partnership of which Japan is a part will play a supporting role in the shared goals of strengthening the global Internet. The Internet represents the digital shipping lane for 21st century goods and services, and as such, the pending agreements with nations in the Pacific community will establish rules for the preservation of those virtual shipping lanes as means of conveying services and ideas, allowing startups and everyday people to challenge incumbent power in markets and ideas.
The United States and Japan share a common vision for the future of the global digital economy, by expanding connectivity, keeping digital trade routes open, and creating policy environments that sustain growth and foster innovation. "These are valuable, long term efforts," said Deputy Assistant Secretary Sepulveda, "and we have the strong bonds as friends and allies that will help us succeed."